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By J. B. Bless & Co, N V 






County of Westchester, 





Carefully Revised by its Author. 

By the Late Rev. ROBERT BOLTON, 


Edited by the Rev. C. W. BOLTON, New Rochelle. 


11 It is the prizn lege of History to impart the experience of age, without its infirmi- 
ties ; to bring back things long obscured by time, or sinking into oblivion ; and enable 
us to form some reasonable conjectures of what may happen to posterity" ' — PoULSON's 
Hist, of Holderness. 


CHAS, F. ROPER, 27 Rose Street. 


■ Iv'C 



Copyright by C. W. BOLTON, 1881. 

Cadmus Press, 



IN presenting to the public '■ The Revised History of Westchester 
County," left nearly completed by the Author, the late Rev. Robert 
Bolton, I assume no responsibility for its contents, nor any credit in its 
authorship. The Author published The First History in 1848, after 
gathering all the information then in his power. Soon after its ap- 
pearance a large amount of extra information was placed at his dis- 
posal, and many corrections kindly sent to him. He determined at once 
to commence a revision of it, and had been so doing up to the day of 
his death, 29 years in all. He had re- written more than two-thirds of 
the original book, adding thereto many very valuable old documents and 
bringing the work down to that time. All that I have had to do was to 
finish up little unimportant points, and conduct it through the press. 

If I were to assert that there were no errors I should be presenting 
to the public what no other man has ever done, a perfect book. There 
must be errors, but they are unimportant. No serious error, I believe, 
will be found. 

There never was a more careful compiler of History than my late 
brother. He always asked for proof, and then well weighed it. His 
book will be his monument ; he wore himself out in its completion. And 
I regret that he does not live to give the whys and the wherefores that 
thousands of its readers will propound. 

The Rev. Robert Bolton, the Author of this History was born in 
Bath in the county of Somerset England, on the 17th of April 1814, and 
was baptized by his grand-father, the Rev. William Jay, in Argyle chapel, 
Bath. (His father, the Rev. Robert Bolton, was born in Savanah, in the 
State of Georgia, but married in England and resided there for several 
years.) He was the oldest of thirteen children, and came to this country 
with his father on his return in 1836. He first studied medicine in 


England, but it did not suit his tastes. Afterwards he became a farmer, 
and resided at Bronxville, East Chester ; moved to New Rochelle, then to 
Tarrytown where he took charge of the Irving Institute, (now occupied 
by Prof. Jackson), from there he removed to Bedford, having charge 
of the Institute in that town for many years, and finally removed to 

He was ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
October, 1868, and priest in June 1869. He was settled over the parish 
of St. Johns, Lewisboro, his only charge ; and died October 11, 1877, at 
Pelham Priory and was buried in the family vault under Christ church, 

He became a walking, living history of the county ; and we deeply 
regret that so much has perished in his death, for he had other plans, and 
other purposes which he intended to present to the public. 

I acknowledge, with pleasure and gratitude, the valuable assist- 
ance I have received from the Rev. Chas. Baird, D. D., historian of 
Rye; Edward F. Delancey, Esq.; Geo. H. Pell, Esq.; Fordam Morris, 
Esq.; Josiah Mitchel, Esq., and the Rev. O. R. Willis, of White Plains, 
who has compiled the Flora Table for this work. And I also take this 
Opportunity of returning thanks to all those kind friends who have in 
any way assisted my late brother in the present Revised Edition. 


under the 


Compiled, for JSollon's 
Sistary 'of West Chester 

ljt> Mile? East of the Cilytf&U 2p &ew TovJC 



T the period of the Dutch discovery the Mahicanni resided on the 
east shore of the Hudson River. " These were the Mankikani and 
Mahikans Of De Leat, the Mahicc cinders, Mohickanders and Nahikanders 
of the Dutch, the Manhikanss Mahikans, or Mokegans, according to 
Professor Ebeling, and the Mohegans or Muhhekanew, (the original name 
of Mohegans.) According to the English the Mohiccans, Mahiccon, and 
lastly Mahiccans, were all one people ; originally a branch of the Dela- 
ware nation. The Mahiccans and Delawares both say they were once 
one people. " a "The best information (says Mr. Heckewelder) which I 
could procure of the extent of the country the Mahicanin inhabited, was 
from an aged and intelligent man of this nation, whose grandfather had 
been a noted chief. His report was as follows, to wit : ' When I was a 
a boy, my grandfather used to speak much of old times : how it had 
been before the white people came into this country, (that is the State 
of New York, in which the relator was born,) and what changes took 
place since, from time to time. The western bounding line of the Ma- 
hicanni was the river Mahicamittuck, which the white people now call the 
' North River.' Our towns and settlements extended on the east side 
of this river from Thuphane or Tuphanne, (a Delaware word for cold 
stream, from which the whites have derived the name Tappan,) to the 
extent of tide water up this river ; here was the uppermost town. From 
thence our towns were scattered throughout the country on the smaller 
rivers and creeks. Our nearest neighbors on the east were the Wam- 
pano.'" b 

" The country between the banks of the Connecticut River" and 
the Hudson, (says Mr. Bancroft,) was possessed by independent villages 
of the Mohegans, kindred with the Manhattans ; whose few smokes once 
arose amidst the forests on New York Island."'* Mr. Schoolcraft informs 
us that " The Mohegans and the Minci were two tribes, of Algonquin 

a Moulton's Hist, of New York, 226. 

6 Moulton's Hist, of New York, part i. 227. 

c Conneeticoota, meaning Long River, was tne Indian name, says Judge Benson. 

d Brancroft's Hist. U. S. A., vol., vol. iii. 239. 


lineage, who inhabited the valley of the Hudson between New York and 
Albany." Mohegan, (continues the same authority,) is a word, the 
meaning of which is not explained by the early writers ; but if we may 
trust the deductions of philology, it needs create little uncertainty. In 
the Mohegan, as spoken at the present time by their lineal descendants, 
the Stockbridges of Wisconsin, Maitshow, is the name of the common 
wolf. It is called, in cognate dialects of the Algonquin, Myegan by the 
Kenistenos, and Myengun by the Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottowatto- 
mies. In the old Algonquin, as given by La Hontan, it is Mahingan, 
and we perceive that this was the term employed by the early French 
writers for the Mohegans. In the language of the Indian priests ormedais, 
a mystical use of the names of various objects in the animated creation 
is made, in order to clothe their arts with the degree of respect and au- 
thority, which ignorant nations are ready to pay to whatsoever they do not 
fully understand; in other words, that which is mysterious. Thus, in 
the medicin songs of the Objibwas, a wolf is called, not Myeengun, the 
popular term, but Mohhwag. It is believed the priests of the ancient 
Mohegans made similar distortion of their words, for similiar ends, and 
that the terms Moh hi Kan and Moh hin gan, used by the early French 
missionary writers for this tribe, furnish the origin of the term. The term 
itself, it is to be understood, by which the tribe is known to us, is not 
the true Indian ; but has been shorn of a part of its sound, by the early 
Dutch, French and English writers. The modern tribe of the Mohegans, 
to whom allusion has been made, called themselves Muhhekaniew. This 
is, manifestly, a compound declarative phrase, and not a simple nomina- 
tive, and is equivalent to the phrase, " I am a Mohegan." It is in 
accordance both with religious custom, and the usage of the Indian 
priesthood, to infer a unity of superstitious practices in nearly affiliated 
tribes. In this manner the word " Mohegan" was used to denote, not a 
common wolf, but the caries lupus, under the supposed influence of med- 
ical or necromantic arts. In other words, Mohegan was a phrase to 
denote an enchanted wolf, or a wolf of supernatural power. This was the 
badge or arms of the tribe, rather than the name of the tribe itself. And 
this, also, it may be inferred, constituted originally, the point of distinc- 
tion between them and the Minci, or wol ftribe proper. The affinities 
of the Mohegans with the Minci, oxMoncess, on the west banks of the Hud- 
son, and through them with the Delawares, are apparent in the language, 
and were well recognized at the era of the settlement."* 6 

The universal name the Mousey s have for New York, (says Mr. Hecke- 
welder) is Laaphawachking, or the place of stringing beads. 

a Proceedings of N. Y. His,. Soc. 1844, S7. 


The Mohegans were again sub-divided into numerous bands, each 
known by a distinctive name. Among these, inhabiting the County, may 
be enumerated the Siwanoys, who occupied the northern shores of the 
Sound "from Norwalk to 24 miles to the neighborhood of Hellgate." 
How far they claimed jurisdiction inland is uncertain. 

The Manhattans had their principal settlement on New York island, 
and from thence north to the bounds of Yonkers, nearly opposite Tap- 
pan. The Weckquaskecks possessed the country " lying between two 
rivulets called Sint Sincks and Armonck, lying between the East and 
North rivers." 

The Sint Sincks occupied the present town of Ossin-ing, and its im- 
mediate vicinity. 

The Kitchawonks claimed the lands bordering the Kitchawan or Cro- 
ton River, and as far north as St. Anthony's Nose in the Highlands. 

The Pachami and Wappingers possessed the Highlands. 

The Tankitekes, "resided in the rear of Sing Sing.'"* 

The principal Indian villages appear to have been as follows : 

Nappeckamak, Kestaubaiuck, 

Weecquaesguack, Kitchawan, 

Alipconck, Sackhoes, 

Sinck Sinck, Kekisconck, 

Nanichiestawck, Betuck-quapock, 

Momoronuck, Pasquashic. 

" The three prominent Indian names for the Hudson River (says Mr. 
Schoolcraft) are 'The Mohegan, b Chatemuc," and the Cahotatea." 

Like their neighbors, the Indians of Westchester were in subjection 
to the Iroquois, and acknowledged it by the payment of an annual 


In giving a history of the County, it appears proper to begin, with a 
recital of the act framing the same, entitled " An Act to divide the 
Province of New York and dependencies into Shires and Counties, etc." 

"Having taken into consideration the necessity of dividing the 
Province into respective Countys, for the better governing and settling 

a O'Callahan's Hist, of N. N., 210. 

b Mohegan River. 

c " Shaita, in the cognate dialect of the Objibwa, means a pelican." " Ue is the ordinary 
inflection for locality."— Mr. Schoolcraft's Paper, Proceedings of N. Y. Hist. Soc. 1844. " The 
great white pelican (P. trachyrhyncus) was formerly numerous on the Hudson and other rivers 
and lakes of this State. At thepresent day it has entirely disappeared, and I do not know of 
its existence even as an accidental visitor."— Nat. Hist, of N. Y. by James De Kay. 


courts in the same, be it enacted by the Governor, Council and the 
Representatives, and by the authority of the same, that the said Pro- 
vince be divided into twelve Countys as followeth : The County of 
Westchester, to conteyne West and Eastchester, Bronx-land Fordham, 
Anne Hook's Neck, Richbells, Miniford's Islands, and all the land on 
the maine to the eastward of Manhattan's Island as farre as the govern- 
ment extends, and the Yonkers' land, and northward along Hudson's 
River as farre as the Highland." 

"This bill having been three times read before the governor and 
Council, is assented to the first of November, 1683."" 

Westchester County was represented in the first Legislative Assembly 
of the Colony, which met at, New York on the 9th of April, 1691 ; b and 
it has constituted one County to this time, having been organized as 
such by the General Acts of 1788 and 1801. It is situated on the 
east side of the Hudson, immediately north of New York County; 
bounded north by Putnam and Dutchess Counties ; east by the State of 
Connecticut; southerly by Long Island Sound and East River; west 
by Haarlem River and the Hudson River, or by New York County, the 
State of New Jersey, and the County of Rockland in this State. The 
area may be 480 square miles — 307,200 acres — situated between 40 
47', and 41 22 A north latitude, 103' east, and 32' east longitude from 
New York. 

The County is thus described by William Smith, the historian, of 
New York, in 1756. 

"Westchester County is large, and includes all the land beyond the Island of 
Manhattans along the Sound to the Connect icut line, which is its eastern boundary. 
It extends northward to the middle of the Highlands, and westward to Hudson's 
River. A great part of this county is contained in the manors of Philipsburgh, 
Pelham, Fordham, and Courtlandt, the last of which has the privilege of sending 
a representative to the General Assembly. The county is tolerably settled. Thg 
lands are in general rough but fertile, and therefore the farmers run principally 
on grazing. It has several towns, Eastchester, Westchester, New Rochelle, Rye, 
Bedford, and North Castle. The inhabitants, are either English, or Dutch Pres- 
byterians, Episcopalians, Quakers, and French Protestants. The former are 
the most numerous. The two Episcopal missionaries are settled at Rye and 
Eastchester, and receive each .£60 annually taxed upon the county. The town 
of Westchester is an incorporated borough, enjoying a mayor's court and the 
right of being represented by a member in Assembly." 

a Provincial Laws of N. Y., County Clerk's Office, Queen's Co., L. I. The above act was 
confirmed on the 1st of October, 1691. 

b In the person of John Pell, Esq. On the 20th of Oct., 1685, James II. appointed John Pell, 
J ohn Palmer, William Richardson. Joseph Horton, sen., and Joseph Theale, Justices of the 
Peace in the County of Westchester. 









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Mount Pleasant. 


New Rochelle . . 
North Castle..... 
North Salem.... 







West Farms j c ' 
White Plains..., 























Present population, 109,050. 

" The County of Westchester comprises a very important section of 
this State ; washed on the west by the Hudson, on the south by the East 
River and Long Island Sound, it enjoys very superior advantages for 
trade and commerce, with a fine soil for agriculture, and a charming di- 
versity of surface and of elegant situation ; while its contiguity to the 
great commercial metropolis of North America, completes a proud su- 
periority of geographical position. The north-west corner is consider- 
ably broken by the south-east border of the Highlands, of a mountain 
character; and a range of hills of moderate height extends from York 
Island toward the north-east extremity, on which are situated the heights 
and hills much known in the Revolutionary war, particularly in the year 
1776. Besides Harlem, Hudson and East Rivers, forming the boun- 
daries, there are several small streams that afford many mill seats. 

a Name changed to Ossin-ing in 1S46. See Sess. Laws, chap. 30, sec. 5. 

b Part of Somers annexed to Newcastle. See Laws of 1S4G, chap. 249. 

c West Farms erected from part of Westchester. See Sess. Laws, 1S4, chap. 279. 


Peekskill Creek and Croton River, which rise in Dutchess and Putnam 
counties, run south westward across the north western part of West- 
chester County to the Hudson. Saw Mill River runs from Mount 
Pleasant to the Hudson at Yonkers; and Bronx River, the largest, 
Hutchinson's and Mamaroneck Rivers run south into the East 
River. Byram River runs from Westchester, principally in Connecti- 
cut, and forms two miles of the State boundary from its mouth in East 
River, which receives some other small streams from the south-east 
angle of Westchester County, direct across the south-west angle of 

"The soil of this County admits of no general character, except that 
its tillage is productive to the agriculturist. The style of its agriculture 
is in the first order, if we except Dutchess. The lower part has consid- 
erable of ornamental farming and gardening, where are the seats of men 
of opulence, cultivated with much taste." The manufactures are num- 
erous. White Plains and Bedford are the half shire towns. " Tarry- 
town, Sing Sing, and some others, are charming positions on the Hud- 
son, where are small villages and landings with considerable trade. 
Tappan Bay, a wide place in the Hudson, is here three miles in width, 
where crowds of shipping are constantly seen passing in opposite direct- 
tions, exhibiting a most elegant display of commercial activity. " a 

" The County of Westchester is based on primitive rock called hypo- 
gene, or granite gneiss, long ridges of which intersect the county, with 
here and there small veins of iron ore and quartz. Large numbers of 
granite boulders are found here, both inland and on the coast ; also 
some fine quarries of white marble, and two silver and gold mines at 
Sing Sing and Peekskill." According to the late geographical survey 
the principal minerals are, white marble, iron ore, galena, sulphate of 
barytes, copper, iron and zinc, oxide of manganese, green carbonate of 
copper, serpentine, calcareous spar, phoshate of lime, hydrate and 
carbonate of magnesia, quartz, drusy, calcedony, agate, jasper, 
hyroxene, hornblende, asbestos, actynolite, homolite, hyderous an- 
thophylite, felspar, stilbite, garnet, epicote, chenite, tourmaline, sphene, 
vandquelemite, magnetic pyrites, chromate of iron, red ochre and red 

The natural growth of wood is very extensive, especially upon the 
higher lands. Among the principal varieties may be enumerated the 
White Oak, (Quercus Alba,) Red Oak, (Quercus Rubra,) Pin Oak, 
(Quercus Paluster,) and the Black Oak, (Quertetron ;) the White Elm, 
(Ulmus Americana;) Red or Slippery Elm, (Ulmus Fulva,) and the 
a See Spafford's Gazetteer of N. Y. 


Witch Elm, (Ulmus Montana ;) the Plane or Buttonwood, (Platanus ;) 
the Ash, (Traxinus) ; Basswood, Lime or Linden, (Zelia) ; Beach, 
(Tagus) ; Birch, (Betula) • Maple, (Acer) ; Locust, (Robinia ); Chestnut, 
( Castanea) ; Walnut, (Juglans) ; Hickory, (Carya) ; the Whitewood or 
Tulip, (Liriodendron) ; Dogwood, (Cornus) ; Hemlock or Spruce, and 
the Red Cedar, (Juniperus.) 

"This County suffered severely during the Revolution. The whole 
southern part was marked by the marches, works of defence, or skirmishes 
and battles of hostile armies ; and, indeed, the active operations of the 
war in 1776 were principally confined to this region, and in the Autumn 
to this County — and the two armies were in full force, constantly on the 
alert, and under the eyes of their respective Commanders-in-Chief. And 
this, too, was probably the most interesting period of the war, though 
attended with no exploits of very brilliant fame. The British with a 
numerous army, and a powerful marine, were in possession of New York, 
while Washington, with an inferior and badly supplied army, dispirited 
by the affair of Long Island, was merely manoeuvring to keep them in 
check. The battle of White Plains, October 28th, will long be remem- 
bered, as will the dismal prospect of that year, when the Patriot Fathers 
of America had still the courage to declare Independence, and assert the 
rights of nature and of nations. But though the morning sun of 
Declared Independence arose thus in a cloud, — while yet it was morning, 
Princeton, Trenton and the plains of Saratoga enjoyed a broad reful- 
gence, diffusing new spirits over the nation. And it were well worthy 
the attention of every American youth to study the history of that war, 
and thus learn the price paid for Independence; the better to know 
how to appreciate its value. Nor ought we to forget that the privileges 
so dearly purchased, can only be preserved to our posterity, by that zeal 
for our country which governed the conduct of our fathers, now descended 
to the grave." 5 

"The County of Westchester," says Mr. N. P. Willis, "has been 
made the scene of, perhaps, the best historical novel of our country, and, 
more than any other part of the United States, suffered from the evils 
of war. The character and depredations of the "Cow-boys" and 
" -Skinners" whose fields of action were on the skirts of this " Neutral 
Ground," are familiar to all who have read " the Essay" of Mr. Cooper. 
A distinguished clergyman" gives the following very graphic picture of 
Westchester County in those days : — 

a July 41 a, 1776. 

b Spafford's Gazetteer of N. T. Upon the evacuation of New York by the British forces, 
Nov. 25, 17S3, the Governor of the State and Commander-in-chief were escorted by a body of 
Westchester Light horse, commanded by Captain Delavan," — Editor. 

e Dr. Timothy Dwight's Travels, 3d vol. 


' ' In the autumn of 1777, 1 resided for some time in this County. The lines of 
the British were then in the neighborhood of King's Bridge, and those of the 
Americans at Byram River. The unhappy inhabitants were, therefore, exposed 
to the depredations of both. Often they were actually plundered, and always 
were liable to this calamity. They feared every body whom they saw, and loved 
nobody. It was a curious fact to a philosopher, and a melancholy one to hear 
their conversation. To every question they gave such an answer as would please 
the inquirer ; or, if they despaired of pleasing, such a one as would not provoke 
him. Fear was, apparently, the only passion by which they were animated. 
The power of volition seemed to have deserted them. They were not civil, but 
obsequious ; not obliging, but subservient. They yielded with a kind of apathy, 
and very quietly, what you asked, and what they supposed it impossible for 
them to retain. If you treated them kindly, they received it coldly ; not as a 
kindness, but as a compensation for injuries done them by others. When you 
spoke to them, they answered you without either good or ill nature, and without 
any appearance of reluctance or hesitation; but they subjoined neither questions 
nor remarks of their own; proving to your full conviction, that they felt no 
interest either in the conversation or yourself. Both their countenances and 
motions had lost every trace of animation and feeling. 1 ^ The features were 
smoothed, not into serenity, but apathy ; and, instead of "being settled in the 
attitude of quiet thinking, strongly indicated that all thought beyond what was. 
merely instinctive, had fled their minds for ever. 

"Their houses, in the meantime, were in a great measure scenes of desolation. 
Their furniture was extensively plundered, or broken to pieces. The walls, 
floors, and windows were injured both by violence and decay ; and were not 
repaired, because they had not the means to repair them, and because they were 
exposed to the repetition of the same injuries. Their cattle were gone. Their 
enclosures were burnt, where they were capable of becoming fuel ; and in many 
cases thrown down, where they were not. Their fields were covered with a rank 
growth of weeds and wild grass. 

' ' Amid all this appearance of desolation, nothing struck my eye more forci- 
bly than the sight of the high road. Where I had heretofore seen a continual 
succession of horses and carriages, life and bustle — lending a sprightliness to all 
the environing objects — not a single, solitary traveller was seen, from week to 
week, or from month to month. The world was motionless and silent, except 
when one of these unhappy people ventured upon a rare and lonely excursion to 
the house of a neighbor no less unhappy ; or a scouting party, traversing the 
country in quest of enemies, alarmed the inhabitants with expectations of new 
injuries and sufferings. The very tracks of the carriages were grown over, and 
obliterated ; and where they were discernible, resembled the faint impressions of 
chariot wheels said to be left on the pavements of Herculaneum. The grass was 
of f ull height for the scythe ; and strongly realized to my own mind, for the first 
time, the proper import of that picturesque declaration in the Song of Deborah : 
' In the days of Shamgar, the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways 
were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through by-paths. The inhabitants 
of the villages ceased; they ceased in Israel.' "a 

a American Scenery, by Bartlett and Willis. 


The subjoined account of the County, in 1780. is taken from Dr. 
Thacher's Military Journal : — 

"The couutry which we lately traversed, about fifty miles iu extent, is called 
"Neuteal Ground;" but the miserable inhabitants who remain are not much 
favored with the privileges which their neutrality ought to secure to them. 
They are continually exposed to the ravages and insults of an infamous banditti, 
composed of royal refugees and tories. The country is rich and fertile ; and the 
farms appear to have been advantageously cultivated, but it now has the marks 
of a country in ruins. A large proportion of the proprietors having abandoned 
their farms, the few that remain find it impossible to harvest the produce. The 
meadows and pastures are covered with grass of a summer's growth, and thousands 
of bushels of apples and other fruit are rotting in the orchards. We brought off 
about two hundred loads of hay and grain ; and ten times the amount might 
have been procured, had teams enough been provided. Those of the inhabitants 
of the neutral ground who were tories, have joined their friends in New York ; 
and the Whigs have retired into the interior of our country. Some of each side 
have taken up arms, and become the most cruel and deadly foes. There are 
within the British lines banditti, consisting of lawless villians, who devote them- 
selves to the most cruel pillage and robbery among the defenceless inhabitants 
between the lines; many of them they carry off to New York, after plundering 
their houses and farms. These shameless marauders have received the names of 
Cowboys and Skinners. By their atrocious deeds, they have become a scourge 
and terror to the people. Numerous instances have been related of these miscre- 
ants subjecting defenceless persons to cruel tortures, to compel them to deliver 
up their money, or to disclose the places where it has been secreted. It is not 
uncommon for them to hang a man by the neck till apparently dead, then restore 
him, and repeat the experiment, and leave him for dead. One of these unhappy 
persons informed me, that when suffering this cruel treatment, the last sensation 
which he recollects, when suspended by the neck, was a flashing heat over him 
like that which would be occasioned by boiling water poured over his body ; he 
was, however, cut down ; and how long he remained on the ground insensible, 
he knows not. A peaceable, unresisting Quaker, of considerable respectability, 
by 'the name of Quincy, was visited by several of these vile ruffians: they first 
demanded his money, and after it was delivered they suspected he had more 
concealed, and inflicted on him the most savage cruelties in order to extort it 
from him. They began with what they call scorching, covering his naked body 
with hot ashes, and repeating the application till the skin was covered with 
blisters; after this they resorted to the halter, and hung the poor man on a tree 
by his neck, then took him down, and repeated it a second, and even a third time, 
and finally left him almost lifeless. "« 

Westchester County under the late constitution formed the Second 
Senatorial, and Assembly Districts ; under the present, she constitutes 
the Seventh Senatorial with Rockland, and is divided into two Assembly 

a Thacher's Military Journal, 232. 




John Pell 

. 1688 

William Jay 


. 1820 

Caleb Heath cote 

. 1700 

1 saac Requa 

. 1820 

William Willett .■ 

. 1721 

Jonathan Ferris . 

. 1820 

Frederick Phillips . 

. 1730 

William Miller . 

. 1820 

Isaac Honeywell 


Edward Kemeys . 

. 1821 

John Thomas 

. 1734 

St. John Constant 

. 1S22 

Lewis Morris, Jun. 

. 1738 

Ezra Lockwood . 

. 1822 

Samuel Purdy 


Henry White 

. 1823 

William Leggett 


John Townsend . 

. 1825 

Nathaniel Underhill 


Nehemiah Brown, Jun 

. 1831 

John Thomas 


Aaron Vark 

. 1833 

Robert Graham 


Joseph A. Constant 

. 1838 

Stephen Ward 


George Case 

. 1843 

Gilbert Drake 


Albert Lockwood 

. 1845 

Ebenezer Lockwood 


Robert J. Hart 

• 1846 

Jonathan G. Tompkins . 


John W. Mills . 

. 1851 

Ebenezer Purdy 


Albert Lockwood 

. 1857 

John Waters . 


Robert Cochran 

. 1867 

Caleb Tompkins . 


Silas D. Glfford i 

. 1871 



Edward Collier 

1688 to 1691 

Joseph Lee 


Benjamin Collier . 

1698 to 1707 

John Clapp 

1707 to 1711 

Daniel Clark . 

17H to 1722 

William Forster 

1722 to 1732 

Benjamin Nicoll 

1745 to 1746 

John Bartow . 

1760 to 1764 

Richard Hatfield 

1777 to 1800 

Thomas Ferris 

1S07 to 1815 

Elijah Crawford 

1815 to 1820 

William Requa 

1820 to 1821 

Nehemiah S. Bates 

1821 to 1829 

Nathaniel Bayles . 

IS29 to 1833 

John H. Smith 

1833 to 1837 

Chauncey Smith 

L837 to 1839 

Charles A. Purdy . 

L839 to 1843 

Munson I. Lockwood 

1843 to 1849 

Robert R. Oakley 


John J. Jenkins 


Hiram P. Rowel 2 . 


Chauncey M. Depew 3 


1 Re-elected. 

2 Re-elected each subsequent term. 

3 Appointed, vice Rowel deceased. 



William W. Pierson 1 1867 

J. Malcone Smith 1857 

John M. Rowel 1875 


Thomas Wheeler, under the Dutch, 
Resolve Waldron, High Sheriff of the North Riding, 
Robert Coe . «■ " ditto " " . 
John Manning . " " ditto " " . 
Benjamin Collier, High Sheriff of Westchester County, 

Rodger Barton October 14 

Nicholas Cooper 

Isaac WiUet 

Lewis Graham . 

John de Lancey 

James de Lancey, Jun., last of the Colonnial, 

John Thomas January 

Jesse Hunt 
John Thomas . 
Jesse Hunt 
Thomas Thomas 
Samuel Haight 
Elias Newman . 
William Barker 
Daniel Delavan 
St. John Constant 
Elijah Ward . 
fit John Constant 
Lyman Cook . 
Zabud June 
Lyman Cook 
Ward B. Howard 
John Townsend 
Alan McDonald 
David D. Webbers 
Aaron Brown . 
Joseph H. Anderson 
Amos T. Hatfield 
Joseph Lyon . 
William H. Briggs 
James M. Bates 
Benjamin D. Miller 
Alsop H. Lockwood 
Daniel H. Little 
William Bleakley, Jr, 
Leemon B. Tripp 

1654 to 1664 
1664 to 1670 

1670 to 1671 

1671 to 1672 
168S to 1692 
1702 to 1706 
1733 to 1837 
1737 to 1766 
1766 to 1768 

1768 to 1769 

1769 to 1775 
1778 to 1780 

1780 to 1781 

1781 to 1785 
1785 to 1788 
1788 to 1792 
1792 to 1796 
1796 to 1799 
1799 to 1806 

1806 to 1807 

1807 to 1S10 

1810 to 1811 

1811 to 1814 

1814 to 1815 

1815 to 1818 
1818 to 1821 
1821 to 1823 
1823 to 1826 
1826 to 1829 
1829 to 1832 
1832 to 1835 
1835 to 1838 
1838 to 1841 
1841 to 1844 
1844 to 1847 


1 Appointed vice Depew, failed to qualify 


Darius Lyon . 
John Bussing . 
Robt. F. Brundage 
Ziba Carpenter . 
Robt. F. Brundage 
Jas. C. Courter . 


John Bartow 
Caleb Fowler . 
Richard Hatfield 
Philip Pell . 
Elias Newman 
Samuel Young 
Edward Thomas 
Samuel Young 
Ezra Lockwood 
Henry White . 
Samuel Young 
Ebenezer White, Jun 
Jonathan Ward 
Alexander H. Wells 
Frederick I. Coffin 
Lewis C. Piatt . 
Robert H. Coles 
Silas D. Gifforda 
John W. Mills& 
Owen T. Coffin 


1754 to 
1791 to 
1778 to 
1787 to 
1796 to 
1800 to 

1807 to 

1808 to 
March 16, 1815 to 
July8, 1819 to 
Feb. 17, 1821 to 

1823 to 
1839 to 
1844 to 
1847 to 



Deputies from Westchester County to the Provincial Congress, met 
at New York, May 23d, 1775 : — 

Gouverneur Morris Philip van Cortlandt 

Lewis Graham James Holmes 

James van Cortlandt David Dayton 

Stephen Ward John Thomas, Jun. 

Joseph Drake Robert Graham 

William Paulding. 

Members of the New York Convention from Westchester County for 
deliberating on the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, 
assembled at Poughkeepsie, June 17, 1788 : — 

Lewis Morris • Philip van Cortlandt 

Philip Livingston Thaddeus Crane 

Richard Hatfield Lott W. Sarles. 

a Appointed vice Coles, deceased, Jan 16, 1S62. 
b Ee-elected each subsequent term. 


Delegates from Westchester County to the Convention met at 
Kingston, Ulster County, to frame the Constitution of the State of New 
York, April 20th, 1777 : — 

Pierre van Cortlandt Ebenezer Lockwood 

Gouvemeur Morris Zebediah Mills 

Gilbert Drake Jonathan Piatt 

Lewis Graham Jonathan G. Tompkins. 

Delegates from Westchester County met in Convention for framing the 
late Constitution of the State of New York, November 10th, 1821 : — 

Peter A. Jay, Peter Jay Munro, Jonathan Ward. 

Delegates from Westchester County met in Convention, for framing 
the present Constitution of the State of New York : — 

John Hunter, Aaron Ward. 

A List of the Officers chosen in the several districts of the South Battalion 
of Westchester County, {except Westchester,) A. D. 1775. 


John Cock, Captain. John Warner, 2d Lieutenant. 

William Betts, 1st Lieutenant. Jacob Post, Ensign. 

New officers to be chosen for this company, no commission issued. 


Stephen Sneden, Captain. Daniel Sersing, 2d Lieutenant. 

Thomas Pinckney, 1st Lieutenant. William Pinckney, Ensign. 

Commission issued, dated September 20. 

And Manor of Pelham. 
Joseph Drake, Captain. James Willis, 1st Lieutenant. 

David Guion, 2d Lieutenant. 

Commission issued and dated 20th September. 


Upper Company. 
Abraham Ledew, Captain. John Belyea, 2d Lieutenant. 

Benjamin Brown, 1st Lieutenant. John Oakley, Ensign, (son of Isaac. 

Commission issued September 2, delivered to Mr. Paulding. 



Tarrytown Company. 
Abraham Storms, Captain. Joseph Appleby, 2d Lieutenant. 

George Combs, 1st Lieutenant. Nathaniel Underhill, Ensign. 

Same date, delivered to Mr. Paulding. 


East Company. 
David Storms, Captain. Gilbert Dean, 2d Lieutenant. 

Benjamin Vermilyea, 1st Lieutenant Gilbert Requaw, Ensign. 

Same date delivered to Mr. Paulding. 


Lower Company. 
Isaac Vermilyea, Captain. Isaac Honeywell, 1st Lieutenant. 

Dennis Lent, 2d Lieutenant. 
Dated September 20, delivered to Mr. Paulding. 

Except the Upper End of King Street 
Robert Blomer, Captain. Ezekiel Halstead, 2d Lieutenant. 

Alexander Hunt, 1st Lieutenant. Daniel Horton Ensign. 


And Broicri's Point. 
Joshua Hatfield, Captain. Anthony Miller, 2d Lieutenant. 

James Verrian, 1st Lieutenant. John Falconer, Ensign. 


And the Upper End of King Street. 
Henry Dusinberry, Captain. Caleb Paulding, 2d Lieutenant. 

Lyon Mills, 1st Lieutenant. Gilbert Dusinberry, Ensign. 


East Company. 
Benoni Piatt, Captain. Abraham Knapp, 2d Lieutenat, 

David Hobby, 1st Lieutenant. Jonathan Guion, Ensign. 


South Company. 
Benjamin Ogden, Captain. Caleb Merritt, Jun., 2d Lieutenant. 

Jeremiah Hunter, 1st Lieutenant. James Brondige, Ensign. 


In Northcastle, North Company, there were not persons sufficient in 
number who had signed the association, to make officers of; so that 
nothing was done. 


Eastern District. 
Lewis McDonald, Jun., Captain. Henry Lord, 2d Lieutenant. 

James Miller, 1st Lieutenant. Jesse Miller, Ensign. 


Western District. 
Eli Seely, Captain. Ephraim Raymond, 2d Lieutenant. 

Hezekiah Grey, 1st Lieutenant. Gabriel Higgins. Ensign. 


Joseph Lockwood, Captain, William Fansher, 2d Lieutenant. 

Noah Bouton, 1st Lieutenant. Gilbert Reynolds, Ensign, 


South District. 
Abijah Gilbert, Captain. Sands Raymond, 2d Lieutenant. 

Jacob Haight, 1st Lieutenant. Joseph Cooley, Ensign. 


Northern District. 
Thaddeus Crane, Captain. Ezekiel Hawley, 2d Lieutenant. 

Jesse Truesdale, 1st Lieutenant. Ebenezer Brown, Ensign. 

A List of the Officers chose?i in the several districts of the North Bat- 
talion, of Westchester County. 


The District late commanded by Francis Lent. 

James Kronkhyte, Captain, Staats Degrete, 2d Lieutentant. 

Abraham Lamb, 1st Lieutenant. David Penore, Ensign. 

The District late commanded by Bartow Underhill : — 

Gilbert van Cortlandt, Captain. 

Daniel Haines, 1st Lieutenant ; signed the association the day he was chosen. 

James Teller, 2d Lieutenant. 

Hermanus Gardiner, Sen., Ensign. 


The District late commanded by Jeremiah Drake : — 

Gilbert Lockwood, Captain. 

John Drake, 1st Lieutenant; signed the association the day he was chosen. 

Joshua Drake, 2d Lieutenant ; the like. 

Peter Carman, Ensign ; the like. 

The District late commanded by Joseph Strang : — 

John Hyatt, Captain. 

John Drake, 1st Lieutenant. 

Obadiah Purdy, 2d Lieutenant. 

Joseph Horton, Ensign ; signed the association the day he was elected. 

Commission issued, dated September 20. 

The District late commanded by Ebenezer Theall : — 
Andrew Brown, Captain. John Crissey Miller, 2d Lieutenant. 

Samuel Haight, 1st Lieutenant. Solomon Purdy, Ensign. 

Commission issued, dated September 20. 

The North Division of the District, late commanded by Levi 

Bailey : — 

Nathaniel Delavan, Captain. Titus Runnells, 2d Lieutenant. 

Thomas Nichols, Jum, 1st Lieutenant. Abraham Purdy, Ensign. 

Commission issued, dated September 20. 

The South Division of the same District : — 

Gideon Selah, Captain. Caleb Hobby, 2d Lieutenant. 

Samuel Lawrence, 1st Lieutenant. Abram Todd, Ensign. 

The Company commanded by David Montross refused to choose 

A List of Officers chosen in the several Districts of the North Battalion 
of Westchester County. 

Manor of Cortlandt, the District late commanded by Francis Lent-: — 

James Kronckhyte, Captain, Abram Lamb, 1st Lieutenant, 

Staats Dregrete, 2d Lieutenant. David Penore, Ensign. 

The District late commanded by Bartow Underhill. : — 

Gilbert van Cortlandt, Captain. 

Dan. Hains, 1st Lieutenant; signed the association the day he was chosen. 
James Teller, 2d Lieutenant. 
Hermanus Gardiner, sen'r, Ensign. 


The District late commanded by Jeremiah Drake : — 

Gilbert Lockwood, Captain. 

John Drake, 1st Lieutenant ; signed the association the day he was chosen. 

Justus A. Drake, 2d Lieutenant ; the like. 

Peter Carman, Ensign ; the like. 

The District late commanded by Joseph Strang : — 

John Hyatt, Captain. 

John Drake, 1st Lieutenant ; commission issued dated Sept. 20. 

Obadiah Purdy, 2d Lieutenant. 

Joseph Horton, Ensign ; signed the association the day he was elected. 

The District late commanded by Ebenezer Theall: — 

Andrew Brown, Captain. 

Samuel Haight, 1st LieutenaDt. 

John Crissey Miller, 2d Lieutenant ; commission issued dated Sept. 20. 

Solomon Purdy, Ensign. 




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Tntitled List of Field Officers for Westchester County, Sept. 12, 1775. 

(Endorsed on the back, -'An Old Letter on Military Returns," Sec. Stat. Office, fol. 26, 17T5, 

page 13.) 

Commissions issued, dated October 14, 1775. 


First Regiment. 

Joseph Drake, Colonel. 
James Hammond, Lieutenant. 
Moses Drake, 1st Major. 
Jonathan G. Graham, 2d Major. 
Abraham Emmons, Adjutant. 
Theophilus Bartow, jun'r, Quarter Master. 

Second Regiment. 

Thomas Thomas, Colonel. 
Gilbert Budd, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Ebenezer Lockwood, 1st Major. 
Thaddeus Crane, 2d Major. 
Jonathan G. Tompkins, Adjutant. 
John Thomas, 2d Quarter Master. 

Third Regiment. 
Pierre van Cortlandt, Colonel. 
Gilbert Drake, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Joseph Strang, 1st Major. 
Ebenezer Purdy, 2d Major. 
John Cooley, Adjutant 
Isaac Norton, Quarter Master. 


During the Revolution. 
John Pine, Michael Dyckman, 

John Odell, James Oakley, 

Abraham Dyckman, Frederick Martin Post, 

Isaac Odell. 

*Jfmap ef t\e iviunsKlp of Sedfird, 
Stamford, and Grcejm'uA and Ike 
Crelvas %»ir 4y usunujjpnl Oil 

g/.S.y Ji sadajc ijfi iy darles Hill sumyvr 







This town forms in shape nearly a square, each of its sides being six 
miles in length. The name is derived from the town of the same title 
in Bedfordshire, England, from whence the early settlers came. The 
earlier etymology of its name in the Saxon language was JBefcatipottfr, 
"more eminent," says Camden, "for the pleasantness of its situation, 
and its antiquity, than for either beauty or largeness."* 

Among the Mohegan Indians Bedford formed a portion of the sachem- 
dom of Rippowam, which extended eighteen miles north of Stamford, 
on the " Manunketesuck," or Sound, also eight miles east and west of 
the same. 

"Within this territory," we are informed, "were traces of at least four 
distinct clans." " On the west side, with his seat not far from where 
the line now separates Stamford from Greenwich, was the bold and war- 
like Mayaro, with his vindictive band of warriors, already experienced 
in the conflict, both with the savage and civilized foe. Whence they 
had come, or how many they might count, we shall never know." 

Further- to the east, with his princely residence overlooking both the 
bays which enclosed the finest headland of Rippowam, was Wascussue, 
Lord of Shippan. Not so spirited as Mayaro, he seemed to linger with 
a handful of his tribe, in a sort of princely repose upon the fair field 
which his more youthful arm had won, unwilling to leave the charming 
heritage, which in his sadness he saw now for the first time seriously 

Still farther towards the rising sun and beyond the lovely Noroton 
bay, was the empire of Piamikin, whose deed of alienation makes him 

"Camden's Brittannia. 


sagamore of Roatan, and whose jealous eye guarded the territory and 
fishing grounds, away out to the waters of the babbling Rowalton (Five 
Mile River). 

On the north of these sea-washed domains lay the more extended 
realms of Ponus. From his ancestors he had received the wooded 
hills and brook-washed vales that stretch far away to the north until 
they are lost in the forests, even among the Mohawk tribes, which even 
the red men did not claim — a wild border ground between the eastern 
and western tribes, and he hoped to hand them all over to his idol, 
Powahag, the bright-faced son of his first born Onox. But the old 
patriarch of his wasting tribe, saw his warriors fade and perish as if 
touched with the power of his own decay, and he yielded gracefully to 
the stern necessity. He lived, as we shall see presently, to sign with his 
own hand the deed which forever alienated from himself and heirs, "all 
the uplands, meadows, and grass, with the rivers, and trees," that had 
once been his rejoicing and his pride.* 

Upon the ist of July, 1640, Nathaniel Turner, agent, in behalf of the 
people of Quinipiacke (New Haven), "bought of Ponus, sagamore of 
Toquams, and of Wascussue, sagamore of Shippan (the other Indians 
consenting thereto), all the ground belonging to the said sagamores, 
except a piece of ground which Ponus reserved for himself and the 
other Indians to plant upon." This purchase embraced all the land 
sixteen miles north of the Sound. The Indian name of the tract was 

"The consideration was twelve coats, twelve hoes, twelve hatchets, 
•twelve glasses, twelve knives, two kettles, and five fathoms of white 
wampum." The liberty of hunting and fishing on the land was reserved 
by the Indians. J The above sale was confirmed to the inhabitants of 
Stamford on the nth of August, 1655, by Ponus, and Onox his eldest 
son: "extending sixteen miles north of the town plot of Stamford and 
two miles still further north for the pasture of their cattle ; also eight 
miles east and west, (the same as paid for before); and as a further 
recompense, four coats of English cloth was given them.§ This grant, 
which embraced nearly the whole township of Bedford, "was offered by 
the New Haven Colony (the same year) to a company of dissatisfied 
men at Weathersfield, Conn., who, looking about for a new home; but 

•Huntington, Hist, of Stamford, p. 102-3. 

tOn the 30th of October, 1640, Mr. Andrew Ward and Mr. Robert Coe, on behalf of them- 
selves and twenty other planters, purchased Rippowains of New Haven, for £33 sterling. 
Lambert's History of New Haven, 176. 

tLambert's History of New Haven. 

§Huntington's Hist, of Stamford. 


no settlement was effected under this deed, and it is only of interest as 
fixing the earliest date at which any part of the present town of Bedford 
passed out of Indian possession."* Ponus Street, New Canaan, denotes, 
there can be no doubt, that Sachem's residence, as well as Onox's Ridge, 
that of his son and successor. There was also a path called Ponassesf 
in the town of Norwalk, Conn., as early as 1687. The following table 
will show the descent of Ponus for three generations. 

Ponus, Sachem of Wascussue, 

Bippowams, A. D. 1640. Sachem of Shippan. 

Onox the elder, Taphasse, Owenoke, 

1655. 166T. 1640. 

Onox the 
166T. younger. 

Sometime subsequent to the Indian sale in 1655, the old township of 
Bedford was emphatically styled " Catonah' s land," after the Indian 
chief and proprietor of that name; hence we deduce the origin of the 
local term "Cantitoe," which yet survives in the northern part of the 
town. The termination "oe" denoting the place of that Sachem's resi- 
dence. Catonah must have assumed the supremacy over these lands 
about 1680, for his first conveyance to the proprietors of the "Hop 
Grounds" bears date 23d December that year. Some connection doubt- 
less existed between Catonah and his predecessor Powahag or Penaghag, 
but what it was is hard to determine at this distant period. About 1700 
Catonah Or Catoona and Coll confirmed to the English (inhabitants of 
Stamford) all the previous grants of territory, "westward as far as Bed- 
ford," and acknowledged the receipt of "considerable and valuable sums 
of money;" and beside all this make special mention "of deeds or 
grants made to the English by Taphasse, Ponus, Penchayo, old Onox, 
young Onox, a deed to Captain Turner and also a deed by Hawatona- 
man, which the Stamford records have not preserved." J In a convey- 
ance to John Belden, of Norwalk, and others, Sept. 30th, 1708, Catonah 
styles himself "Sachem of the Ramapo Indians within his majesty's 
province of New York," and this is the last we hear of him. Wacham- 
ane was probably his son and successor in the Sachemdom. 

* Address of Joseph Barratt, Esq., 4th July, 18T6. Recorder Catonah, July, '77. 
tE. Hall's Hist. Bee. of Norwalk, page 82. 
tHuntington's History of Stamford. 


A bold eminence lying to the north of Bedford village retains the abo- 
riginal name of Aspetong or Aspicung (Indian terms for an indigenous 
variety of an odoriferous grape); while another on the west, covered 
with luxurious woods and visible from all parts of the surrounding coun- 
try, still bears the title of its aboriginal proprietor, Nanama, one of the six 
great sagamores who (we shall see presently) sold land half a mile square 
lying west of the old Hop Grounds in 1692. Two roads in the western 
part of the town traverse the Indian paths of Potiticus and Suckebouk, 
the former leading to Cohansey, a wild and romantic spot west of Broad 
Brook, and almost under the shadow of Nanama. Here was a famous 
spring of water, and here the Indians continued to reside down to a late 
period of our Colonial History. 

Amawalk lot is a fine knoll situated near the banks of Stony Hill 
River, in the immediate vicinity of which are the "pits," a sandy plain 
surrounded by woods and marshy ground, almost bordering on the 
Beaver Dam River, both these places were favorite sites for Indian 
lodges. Patomus Ridge lies a little farther eastward, upon which stood 
a cluster of wigwams, in 1692. Armonck, Comonck, or Kahomesug, 
sold by Catoona and other Indians to the proprietors of the Hop 
Grounds in 1683, is situated in the south-west part of the town. Cor- 
nelius Van Tienhoven (an early Dutch authority) in describing the 
bounds of the Indian territory of Wechquaesqueck, says, "This land is 
situate between two rivulets called Sintsinck and Armonck lying between 
the East and North River.* The term Armonckf (here alluded to) is 
supposed to have been the original Indian appellation for the Byram 
River, whose springs rise from the Comonck hills in this town, some- 
times called Cohamong ridge; % the last syllable onck or ong, when 
taken in connection with the rest of the word, denotes "the place or 
locality where shells are manufactured into wampum." From this we 
infer that the seawan (the specie currency of the natives) was once man- 
ufactured in large quantities upon the banks of the Byram or Armonck, 
while the whole county of Westchester was denominated "Laapha- 
wachking," or "place of stringing beads." 

"Quauhaug is an English corruption of the Indian word Poquau- 
hock. The New England and Long Island Indians called the round, 
hard-shell clam Poqucrn, and added the termination hog, huog, hock or 
haug, to signify the plural. In old works on New England and New 

*0'Callagan's Hist, of New Netherland, vol. 1, p. 240. 

tAmochk in the Delaware tongue signifk 
•avid Zeisberger, Pliila, 1776. 

tRec. of 60. Road's Register's office, p. 1. 

tAmochk in the Delaware tongue signifies Baaver. Essay of a Delaware Indian, &c, by 
David Zeisberger, Phila, 1776. 


Netherland History these clams are called Poquauhock, Poquauhaug, 
&c. The English {not the Indians), by omitting the first syllable re- 
duced the word to Quau/iaug or Quahaug, the latter being the mode of 
spelling usually adopted by the early New England and Dutch writers. 
Roger Williams does not use the word " Quauhaug," nor does he 
allude to the corruption. The following is his description of "Poquau- 
hock': 'This the English call hens; a little thick shell fish which the 
Indians wade deep and dive for; and after they have eaten there — in 
those which are good, they break out of the shell, about half an inch of 
a black part of it, of which they make their ' Suckauhock,' or black money, 
which is to them precious. 'Seawan,' or 'Seawant,' was the general 
name applied by the Indians to their currency made from shells. Wam- 
pum or White money was made from the stem or stock of 'Meteahock' 
(Periwinkles). This was their silver. ' Suckanhock was made from the 
purple portion of the shell of ' Poquahock.' This was their gold. Both 
the Dutch and English, however, soon began to drop the distinctive 
terms. Hence we find ' Wampum ' or ' Wampom ' used to designate the 
Indian money without regard to color. In making their 'gold,' the 
Indians broke from the 'Poquauhock' a 'Quauhaug' about half an inch 
of the dark purple portion of the inside and converted it into beads of 
the diameter of a large straw, and about one third of an inch in length. 
Before the introduction of awls and thread from Europe, these beads 
were bored longitudinally with sharp stones and strung upon the sinews 
of animals. ' Their Merchandise,' said Josselyn, in speaking of the In- 
dian commerce, 'are their beads which are their money; of these there 
are two sorts : blue beads and white beads ; the first is their gold, the 
last their silver; these they work out of certain shells so cunning that 
neither Jew nor Devil can counterfeit; they drill them and string them 
and make many curious works with them to adorn the persons of their 
sagamores and principal young men and women, as belts, girdles, tab- 
lets, borders for their women's hair, bracelets, necklaces, and links to 
hang in their ears. Prince Phillip, a little before I came from England, 
had a coat on and buskins set thick with these beads in pleasant wild 
works — and a wide belt of the same ; — his accoutrements were valued at 
twenty pounds.' With this Seawan, commonly called Wampum, the 
Indians paid tribute, redeemed captives, atoned for murders and other 
wrongs, and purchased peace with their more powerful neighbors as oc- 
casion required. It was the seal of a contract and the oath of fidelity. 
In the form of a belt it was sent with all public messages, and some- 
times — marked with curious hieroglyphics — was preserved as a record of 
important transactions between rival tribes. A message sent without 


the belt was spurned as an empty word. The return of a belt was un- 
derstood as the rejection of an offer or of the terms accompanying the 
same. A string of 'Seawan' was sometimes delivered by the orator in 
public council at the close of each proposition as ratifying the speaker's 
truth and sincerity. Strings of 'Wampum' were occasionally tied 
around the neck of a white dog, and the animal thus decorated was fas- 
tened to a pole and offered up as a sacrifice to ' Thalonghyawaagon,' 
the upholder of the skies. Long Island was called ' Seawan-Hacky,' 
the Island of Shells. Immense quantities of Seawan were manufactured 
there. In the extensive shell-banks left by the Indians, a whole shell is 
rarely found, nearly all having been more or less broken in the process 
of making 'wampom.' The French at one time made unsuccessful 
efforts to circulate a porcelain counterfeit. The Dutch manufactured 
great quantities from the genuine material — their superior mechanical 
facilities giving them much advantage over the Indians. The Dutch 
valued three purple beads at one Stuyver (penny) — double the price of 
the white beads. 

"According to Loskiel, 'Wampum' or 'Wampom,' signifies in the 
language of the Iroquois a 'muscle.' 'These muscles,' he says, 'are 
chiefly found on the coast of Virginia and Maryland, and are valued 
according to their color, which is brown, violet, and white. The former 
are sometimes of so dark a shade that they pass for black, and are dou- 
ble the price of white. Having first sawed them into square pieces 
about a quarter of an inch in length and an eighth in thickness, they 
grind them round or oval upon a common grindstone. Then a hole 
being bored lengthways through each, large enough to admit a wire, 
whipcord, or thin thong, they are strung like beads and the string of 
'wampom' is complete. Four or six strings joined in one breadth and 
fastened to each other with fine thread make a belt of 'wampom,' being 
about three or four inches wide and three feet long, containing, perhaps, 
from eight or twelve fathoms of ' wampom ' in proportion to its requisite 
length and breadth.' 

"One of the most celebrated 'wampom' belts known to have been 
wrought by the Indians was presented to William Penn by the Lenni- 
Lenape-Sachems on the occasion of the famous Treaty of 1682. The 
writer has in his possession z.fac-si??iile of this belt. The original belt was 
presented to the Pennsylvania Historical Society by Granville John 
Penn, Esq., May 25th, 1857. It is of the very neatest workmanship. Its 
length is twenty-six inches, and its breadth nine inches. It consists of 
eighteen strings woven together — formed entirely of small beads strung 
in rows. In the centre there is a rude, but striking representation, 


worked in- dark violet beads — of two men, one somewhat the stouter, 
wearing a hat ; the other rather thin, having an uncovered head. The 
figures stand erect, with hands clasped — symbolic of the contract which 
will always live in History as — 'Not sworn to, but never broken.' 

"The use of 'Quauhaug' in the form of a wampum belt was the most 
solemn purpose to which the Indians devoted the precious shell. 

"For more than one hundred years after the settlement of New 
Netherland and New England it served as a circulating medium in the 
affairs of trade and was received with equal good faith by the Indians 
and Whites. 

" Until within quite a recent period wampum was manufactured in 
Suffolk County, Long Island. As late as the Summer of 1831, several 
bushels were sent from Babylon to be used by the Indians of the West- 
ern Territories for the purpose of conventions and treaties. Although 
Quauhaug is technically a plural — custom and usage long established 
and now sanctioned by the best writers have made it a singular word."* 

The great Indian settlement of this town was called " Nanichiesta- 
wack," which occupied the southern spur of " Indian Hill," sometimes 
called the "Indian Farm," and "Stony Point or Hill," stretching toward 
the north-west. There is a most romantic approach to the site of moun- 
tain fastness, by a steep, narrow, beaten track opposite the Stamford 
cart path, as it was formerly denominated, which followed the old Indian 
trail called the "Thoroughfare." There is a tradition current in the 
neighborhood that the south side of this hill was the scene of a bloody 
fight between the early settlers and the aboriginees. Mrs. Martha Holmes, 
an aged inhabitant of Bedford, living in 1848, remembered as far back 
as 1765 to have seen several mounds at the foot of this hill, a little south 
of the old school house, which were pointed out to her as the graves of 
those who fell in the conflict; while another tradition says that a stream 
of blood ran down on the south side of the hill, and many bones were 
afterwards interred there. The truth is that a bloody fight actually took 
place here between a hundred and thirty Dutch troops, led by the re- 
doubtable Capt. John Underhill (who had fought under Maurice of 
Nassau, Prince of Orange, in the Low Countries), one full moonlight 
night in February, 1644, and a tribe of the Sinaroys Indians, on which 
occasion seven hundred of the latter perished amidst the flames and 
surroundings of " Nanichiestazvack."\ 

It appears that "the campaign of 1644 was opened by an expedition 

*An " Indian Talk " about Quahaug and Wampum, by Reuhkwehhehnwen, New Rocnelle. 
July 13, 1S60. Taken from New Rochelle Pioneer, July 15, 1865. 

tSome say the village of " Petuguepaen." 


that scoured Staten Island in the hope of meeting the tribes of that 
region; but they found no Indians to contend with, and returned after 
only a few days' absence, with no other booty than a few hundred sche- 
pels of corn. 

A messenger from Stamford arrived at the fort, bearing the head of 
the Indian chief Mayano, and reporting that a large body of hostile In- 
dians was encamped near Greenwich. A detachment of one hundred 
and twenty men was sent off by water. They landed at Greenwich and 
after marching all night without meeting the enemy, halted at Stamford. 
It was evident either that the Indians had been warned of the expedi- 
tion, or that the story of the encampment was false. The troops had 
been sent mainly on the representations of Captain Daniel Patrick, of 
Greenwich, and to him the disappointed Dutchmen looked for an ex- 
planation. On a Sunday afternoon, during the hour of service, a Dutch 
soldier met the captain at Stamford, and, after stating that the troops 
had been deluded, openly charged him with treachery. The captain 
threw back the insult with some rough words, and spat in his accuser's 
face; but as he turned on his heel the Dutchman drew a pistol and shot 
him dead. 

Some Stamford men, who seemed nettled at the taunts of the Dutch, 
volunteered to discover the place where the Indians lay concealed. 
Four scouts went out, who soon returned, and conducted a party of 
twenty-five to an Indian village, where about twenty savages were killed; 
and an old man, two squaws, and some children made prisoners. The 
old man offered to show the Dutch the way to Wetquescheck, an Indian 
stronghold consisting of three castles constructed of plank five inches 
thick, nine feet high, and braced all around by heavy timbers, pierced 
for small arms. Sixty-five men, under the command of Lieutenant 
Baxter and Sergeant Cock, following the old man's guidance, cautiously 
approached the castles, expecting a formidable resistance; but, to their 
surprise, they found the stronghold deserted. The over-prudent Indians 
had retreated, leaving the Dutch to burn two of the castles, a small 
quantity of stores, kill one or two men, and take a few women and 
children prisoners. 

Meanwhile Pennewitz, of Long Island, one of the oldest and most 
experienced chiefs in the country, and who, in the first war, had pro- 
posed to slaughter the Dutch in a single night, was secretly acting a 
hostile part, and had already killed a number of Christians and burnt 
numerous barns. It was therefore resolved to send a force of one hun- 
dred and twenty men towards Heemstede (Hempstead), the English 
under command of Underhill, the Dutch under Peter Cock, and all 


under the general supervision of La Montagne. The advance guard, 
having killed an Indian spy, waited until the main body came up, when 
the troops were formed in two divisions, and an attack was made at the 
same time on Matsepe (Maspeth) and a smaller village near at hand. 
In a few hours over a hundred Indians lay dead upon the field, while, 
on the part of the Dutch and English, the loss was only one killed and 
three wounded. 

On the return of this expedition, Captain Underhill was dispatched to 
Stamford in quest of information relative to the Indians of that region. 
Meeting the same guide who had led the Dutch forces astray in the 
Greenwich expedition, he learned that nearly a thousand Indians were 
assembled not far off, to celebrate one of their festivals. The guide, 
anxious to redeem his reputation, offered to lead the Dutch to the 
Indian rendezvous, in order to prove that the former mischance was 
not his fault. Captain Underhill, in reporting these facts to Kieft, 
advised an immediate attack. A force of one hundred and thirty men 
was dispatched in three yachts, under the Captain's command. 

It was now mid-winter. The earth was covered with snow, and the 
little army, after landing at Greenwich, passed a dreary night in the 
midst of a howling storm. Early next morning the troops took up their 
line of march in a north-westerly direction, and steadily but slowly ad- 
vanced all day long, trudging through the deep snow, creeping over 
stony hills laid bare by the sweeping winds, and wading over half frozen 
streams. By eight o'clock they arrived within a league of the Indian 
village, and halted to rest and arrange the plan of battle. The village, 
which had been carefully arranged for winter quarters, lay snugly en- 
sconced in a low mountain recess, completely sheltered from the bleak 
northerly winds, and consisted of a large number of huts disposed in 
three streets, each about eighty paces long. As the Dutch approached 
they found the Indians prepared to receive them, whereupon Capt. 
Underhill gave orders to charge sword in hand. His men rushed in and 
tried to surround the huts; but the savages, who seemed this time to 
act with some degree of military skill, deployed in small bands, and 
fought with such vigor that in a few moments thirteen of the soldiers 
were disabled. 

The contest, however, did not long continue. The Dutch, though 
greatly inferior in numbers, were vastly superior in skill, weapons, disci- 
pline, and powers of endurance, to their brave, but weak, half-starved, 
and poorly armed adversaries. The Indians were soon pressed so hard 
as to be obliged to make for their huts, where they still kept up the 
fight by discharging arrows through loop holes. Nearly two hundred of 


their number lay dead upon the snow ; but the survivors still fought on 
with the desperation of men who understood the merciless character of 
their assailants, and preferred death to a captivity that might end in 
torture. Underhill now gave orders to fire the huts. The Indians 
tried every way to escape ; but they were by this time completely sur- 
rounded, and, finding it impossible to break through the lines, they 
quietly retired with their wives and children to the blazing huts, and 
whole families submitted to the flames rather than die by the sword. 
They would not even gratify their enemies by the least sound that 
might betray anything like pain or terror; although more than five hun- 
dred Indians, many of whom were women and children, miserably per- 
ished on that awful night ; not one was heard to cry or scream. 

The Dutch victory was complete. Large fires were built, for the air 
was intensely cold; the wounded were dressed, sentinels were posted, 
and the weary troops bivouacked on the battle ground for the remain- 
der of the night. 

How terrible the change that a few hours had brought upon the Indian 
village, which, at the setting of the sun, lay so peacefully in that moun- 
tain gorge, surrounded by the pure, untrodden snow! 

The village now a smouldering ruin — the snow trampled and scat- 
tered by many a desperate struggle — crimsoned, too, with blood, and 
holding in its cold embrace hundreds of ghastly forms — what more des- 
olate picture could Revenge itself have desired to behold than the 
ruined homes, the broken weapons, the gory scalps, and the grim faces 
of the dead, which the full moon disclosed as her silvery rays streamed 
upon the mountain slope and floated down the valley !* 

O'Callaghon thus details the action in his history of the N. H. : 
"On his return from Heemstede, Capt. Underhill was ordered to Stam- 
ford, to obtain particulars of the whereabouts of the savages. He 
brought word back, that they were encamped some five hundred strong 
in that direction, and that the old guide urged the forwarding a body of 
troops immediately thither, as he was desirous, on the one hand, to 
prove that the former ill-success of the Dutch was not his fault; on the 
other hand anxious for protection, as his life was in constant danger. 

"One hundred and thirty men embarked accordingly, under Capt. 
Underhill and Ensign Van Dyck, in three yachts, and landed the same 
evening at Greenwich, t But a severe snow storm having set in, de- 
tained them at that settlement the whole of the night. The weather, 

*Sunday Liues, Manhattan Papers No. 10, by Jan Vogelanger. 

tThey probably landed on Greenwich Point, called by tha Indians Monatewego. 


however, moderated towards morning, when the party set forward and 
arrived soon after at the foot of a rocky mountain,* over which some of 
the men had to crawl, with considerable difficulty, on their hands and 
feet. The evening, about eight o'clock, brought them to within a few 
miles of the enemy. Their further progress was, however, now impeded 
by two rivers, one of which was some two hundred feet wide, and three 
in depth. It was considered best to remain here awhile, in order to 
refresh the men, and to make arrangements for the coming attack. 
After a rest of a couple of hours, the party again set forward at ten 
o'clock. It was full moon, and the night so clear — 'a winter's day 
could not be brighter,' — that the Indian village was soon discovered at 
a distance. It consisted of three rows of houses or huts, rangec in 
streets, each eighty paces long, and backed by a mountain which shel- 
tered it from the north-west wind. 

" But the Indians were as much on the alert as their enemy. They 
soon discovered the Dutch troops, who charged forthwith, surrounding 
the camp, sword in hand. The Indians evinced on this occasion, con- 
siderable boldness, and made a rush once or twice to break the Dutch 
line, and open some way for escape. But in this they failed, leaving 
one dead and twelve prisoners in the hands of the assailants, who now 
kept up such a brisk fire that it was impossible for any of the besieged 
to escape. After a desperate conflict of an hour, one hundred and 
eighty Indians lay dead on the snow outside their dwellings. Not one 
of the survivors durst now show his face. They remained under cover, 
discharging their arrows from behind, to the great annoyance of the 
Dutch troops. Underhill now seeing no other way to overcome the 
obstinate resistance of the foe, gave orders to fire their huts. The order 
was forthwith obeyed; the wretched inmates endeavoring in every way 
to escape from the horrid flames, but mostly without success. The 
moment they made their appearance, they rushed or were driven precip-. 
itately back into their burning hovels, 'preferring to be consumed by 
fire than to fall by our weapons.' 

"In this merciless manner were butchered, as some of the Indians 
afterwards reported, five hundred human beings. Others carry the 
number to seven hundred; 'the Lord having collected most of our 
enemies there to celebrate some peculiar festival.' 

"Of the whole party, no more than eight men escaped this terrible 
slaughter by fire and sword. Three of these were badly wounded. 
Throughout the entire carnage not one of the sufferers — man, woman, 
or child — was heard to utter a shriek or moan. 

*Supposed Stony Hills, a mountainous ridge north of Bedford. 


"This expedition having been crowned with complete success, the 
wounded, fifteen in number, were attended to, and sentinels posted to 
prevent surprise. Large fires were then kindled, as the weather was 
still excessively cold, and the conquerors bivouacked during the remain- 
der of the night, on the field of battle. They set out next morning on 
their return in good order, ' marching with great courage over that har- 
assing mountain, the Lord enduing the wounded with extraordinary 
strength,' and arrived at Stamford at noon, after a march of two days 
and one night, during which they had little repose and less comfort. 
The English received the soldiers with friendly hospitality, proffering 
them every possible kindness. Two days afterwards the detachment 
arrived at Fort Amsterdam, where a public thanksgiving was ordered for 
the brilliant success which attended the New Netherland arms. a 

'• The late punishment (continues the same authority) inflicted upon 
these Indians, and the approach of Spring, made them desirous of peace, 
and they therefore solicited the intervention of Capt. Underhill to pro- 
cure a cessation of hostilities. 

" Mamaranack, chief of the Indians residing on the Kicktawanc, or 
Croton River, Mongockonone, Pappenoharrow from the Weckquaes- 
queecks and Nochpeem, and the Wappings from Stamford, presented 
themselves in a few days (April 6, 1644), at Fort Amsterdam, and hav- 
ing pledged themselves that they should not, henceforth, commit any 
injury whatever on the inhabitants of New Netherland, their cattle and 
houses, nor show themselves, except in a canoe, before Fort Amsterdam, 
should the Dutch be at war with any of the Manhattan tribes, and hav- 
ing further promised to deliver up Pacham, the chief of the Tankitekes, 
peace was concluded between them and the Dutch, who promised on 
their part not to molest them in any way, but to allow them to cultivate 
their fields in peace; and as a guarantee of their sincerity, surrendered 
several of their prisoners. "f 

A path like a sheep walk leads up from the site of this memorable 
battle field to the top of "Indian Hill," which commands a very envi- 
able view, being a wonderful assemblage of mountain, hill, and dale, 
woodland and water hardly equalled. The prospect is bounded to the 
south-east and east by the waters of the Sound, and light blue shores of 
Long Island, whither the Indians of yore carried on their fishing excur- 
sions in the Summer season ; to the north and north-west far away for 
hundreds of miles, extend the Green Mountains, and still nearer to the 
west the majestic Highlands, bordering on the Hudson, from whence 

(a) General Van. X. N. 

(6) O'Callaghan's Hist, of N. N., p. 300-3. 


came the dreaded Mohawk, above which towers the mighty Dunden- 
burg, in olden times abounding in game which the Indians hunted for 
pleasure and subsistence, which, together with the beautiful valleys of 
the Myanos and the Muscoota or Beaver Dam and Cohamong hills, 
form a noble and extensive outline. The Myanos River (probably so 
named after the bold and warlike Mayano Sachem of Petuquapaen, 
killed by the celebrated Captain Daniel Patrick, Patroon of the Manor 
of Greenwich in 1643)* for three or four miles below the village is bor- 
dered by what is called the "River Hills," which are extremely pictur- 
esque and romantic; in some places its rocky and wooded banks are 
almost precipitous, one spot in particular called "Crow Rock," soon 
after which the landscape expands and the Myanos, released from its 
narrow bed, widens and continues its course until lost in the " Manunk- 
etesuck," or Sound near Cos Cob. 

What had become of the descendants of the warlike Ponus does not 
appear; but in the year 1680 the "Hop Grounds," which were situated 
at the north end of the Stamford bounds, belonged to the Sachem 
Katoonah and other Indians, all which is shown by the following grant, 
under which it may be truly said the settlement of Bedford was actually 
begun : 

Stamford, tie twenty-third day of December, one thousand, six hundred and eighty. 

Witness these presents that we whose names are under written namely Ka- 
toonah Rockahway Sepotah Iovis Tomacoppah Kakenand, we doe for orselves 
our heirs executors administrators and asigns and for and in behalfe of al other 
proprietors of the land commonly caled the hopp-ground; we say we doe here- 
by sel Alinate asigne and set ouer from us or heirs executors Administrators and 
asignes for ever a certaine parsel of meddow and upland commonly called and 
known by the hoppground which land lyes at the north end of Stanford bounds : 
as it is already bounded with markt trees only the west line to be extended : 
southward til it shall meet with a southwest line drawn from three markt white 
oaks standing very neere together at the southeast corner of the s'd land we 
the above named doe hereby sel Alinate and assigne and set ouer firm us 
the land above specifyd with all the rights and privilidges thereunto be- 
longing for euer, unto Richard Ambler Abraham Ambler Joseph Theal Daniel 
Weed Eleazer Slawson John Wescot Ionathan Petit iohn Cross iohn Miller Nich- 
olas Webster Eichard Ayres William Clark ionas Seeley ioseph Stevens Daniel 
iones, Thomas Pannoyer, iohn Holms iunr, beniamin Steuens iohn green senr, 
david waterbury Sam weed ionathan kilborn, them their heires executors ad- 
ministrators asignes for euer quiatly to posese and injoy without molestation by 
us or ours or any by our means or procurement, moreouer we ye above men- 

*Patrick was killed by a soldier at Capt. John Underhill's house in 1644. He married Annetje 
Van Beyeren, and by her had one son who afterwards claimed his father's land at Green- 



tioned Katonah Sepotah iovis Tohmocapph, Pannaps Kakenand doe bargen and 
hereby graut full liberty of timber and herbedge for them and theire creatures 
upon our aincent lands for euer and doe hereby acknowledge to have received 
full satisfaction for the land above sd' in witness of truth we have caused this 
bill of sale to be made and hereto set our hands and seals the day and date 
aboue written; 

signed sealed & deliver 
ed in the presence of ioshua 
Knap David Water- 
bury taco his mark 
poading — mark 

Katoonah * mark 
rockaway || mark 
Sepotah 1 mark 
iovis § his mark 
Tomopoh X mark 
Pannaps t mark 
Kakenand t mark 

The above bill of sale is acknowledged by the grantors the indians by their 
seueral names i say acknowledged before me. 

Rich. Law, Comis'. 

Stanford Decembe 23, 1680. 

Stanford 23d. decembe, 16S0. 

Then payd unty ye indians specified in this within bill of sale for the purchase 
as follows 

twelve Indian cotes 


six blankets 


300 gilders wampan 


entered upon 

two yard red brod cloth 


record 26 of 

six yard red coton 


Feb'e 1694-5 

more by expenses 


Abraham Am- 



bler recdr « 

This purchase of the "Hop Ground" probably included about 7,7 c 

acres, f 

a First Book of Bedford Rec., p. 129. The original is in the possession of Hon. John Jay of 

t"From an ancient memorandum found in the town record it is supposed that this first 
purchase of the hopground. as it was called from its natural product, included about 7700 
acres. The 'cotes,' blankets, 'brod cloth,' 'red coton.' wampum, or current funds of the 
time, and the somewhat mysterious entry of 'more by expenses, S pounds, 1 shilling,' corre- 
sponding perhaps, to the ' contingent expenses ' of modern committee-men, only made up the 
moderate total of 46 pounds, lt> shillings. But real estate was not high in those days, though 
it seems to have been looking up, for it was only hi l'',26 that the whole city and county of 
New York was sold for twenty-four dollars."— Address of Jos. Barrett, July 4, 1S76. Re- 
corder, Katonah, July 7. 



The same year the following charges were expended on account of 
the " Hop Ground" : 

The amount of charges expended upon the account of and for ye 
ground" in the year 16S0 

; hopp 

Rich. Arnbler 
Abra. ' ' 
Jos Theals 
Dan. Weed 
Dan. Wescot 

Jonah Petit 
Jo. Cross 


Total is : 43-10-10 

ye sum paid purchase as above was 
Forty shillings each person. 

The proportion and how these men 


Jos. Hunt 

Nickolas Webster to {_ 
Richd Ambler j 

Abra. Ambler to") 
Jo Miller j 

Eli Slason X X 
David Waterbery 

Joseph Theale payd>^ 
by Sa Weed j 

Dan Weedpaydby) 
Thos Parroyer j 
b} r Rich Ayres 
Dan Wescot by) 
Will Clark j 

by Jonas Selfy 2 lb ) 
by Tho panoyer 1 lb) 
Dan Wescot by) 
Ben Stevens j 
Jonah Pettit payd> 
by Gren j" 

Jos Stevens 
Dan Jones 
Jo Cross : pd by) 
Eli Slauson x j" 







02 00-00 




By the following document it appears that the proprietors began their 
settlement by holding their first meeting at Stamford from whence they 
all came. 

Stamford io March 

i6 S0 
iU sr 

by vote the proprietors of the "hop grounds" doe chuse and appoynt 
and fully empower Jos Theale Abra Ambler John Miller Daniel Jones: 
and John Cross to be theire committee to lay out the town plot both for 
situation and also to lay out the house lots and one lotment to every 
proprietor in the field or the East side of the plains : and three of the 
aforesaid men have full power to act in ye premises and it shall be in 
the discretion of these men to make each man's lot proportionable; in 


quantity what it wants in quality it is also agreed by the parsons : above 
that noe man's house lot shall be less than three acres: but more if the 
land will allow it : Further it is agreed by the proprietors aforesd that 
the committee above named shall have full power to lay out or leave a 
convenient lot in the town plot for the use of the town and also in the 
field a lot proportionable with the other lots for the use of the town 
upon the 17th March: H the committee above named went and 
after meausure of Land: and laying out the street they proceeded to lot 
and the lots were as follows: 

Riard Ambler 16 Will Clark 18 

Abra Ambler 8 Jonas Sely 17 

Jos Stevens 20 Da Jones 20 

Joseph Theale 5 Thos Panoyer 12 

Daniel Weed 21 Ben Stevens 11 

Elea ; Slauson 13 Jo Homes 15 

Joe Wescot 19 Jo Green 1 

Jonah Pettit 22 David Water bury 10 

John Cross 4 Sa Weed 7 

John Miller 3 Jonah Kilborn 2 
Nicke : Webster 9 
Rich : Ayres 14 

22: March, 16""; the proprietors agree that what the committee 
had done in laying out ye town plot, and the house lots, shall stand; 
and the place they reserved for the town common, and the town lot to 
be as they laid it out, and the meeting house shall be set upon the 
common so laid out among the rocks called Bates; his Hill. 

2: By vote, the proprietors agree to receive John Bates, Nathaniel 
Cross, proprietors with them, they enjoying a full proportion of charges 
with which that is part, and what shall be further expended upon the 
said land, and they to hold their house lots and their field lots, after 
those that were already granted to be laid out. 

3. By vote the proprietors agree it shall not be in the power of any 
proprietor to sell, exchange or any other way alynate his propriaty in 
the said hop grounds without the approbation and consent of the maine 
part of the proprietors ; upon the penalty of forfeiting his right to ye 
said proprietors: 

4ly. By vote the proprietors doe chuse, apoynt and fulley impower 
Joseph Heals, Abraham Ambler, John Bates, John Miller and John Cross 
as theire committee to lay out all their plaines and meadows, west- 
ward and eastward of the town plot already layd out; and on other 
lands and meadows they see convenyant ; unto the propriators now in 
being; the comity to order the said lands; in laying it out according to 
their discresion. 

5ly. By vote the proprietors agree that David Waterbury shall have 
liberty to rune his homlot fence to the rock, commonly called Bates his 


Hill, and shall have ye use of the town land between his lot and the 
said Hill provided the said David: always maintaine A good gate or 
bars and liberty is reserved for the town to fetch stones or other neses- 
aries but of the said town land reserved. 

Ye same March: '81. the committee apoynted ■ work of 

laying out the field land and meadow and after. — of ye land and lay- 
ing the cart- ways they cast lots first for the east field: 2ly. for ye mead- 
ows: 3ly. for the plains and the lots being solemnly drawn were as 
follows : 

Field lots : 

Meadows : 

plains : 

Kich: Ambler 




Abra Amble., 




Jos. Theals, 




Dan. weed, 




Elea: wescot, 




Jo- wescot, 




Jonah: Pettit, 




John cross, 




John Miller, 




Nicke: Webster. 




Rich. Ayres, 




Jonas Seely, 




Jos. Stevens, 




Dan: Jones, 




Tho: Panoyr, 




Jo- Stones, 




Ben. Stevens, 




Jo- Green, 




Dauid Waterbury, 




Sa- Weed, 




Jonh. Kilborn, 




Jonn Bates, 




Natha: Cross, 




The first official notice or recognition of the settlement of the town 
appears to be the following grant from the General Court of Connecti- 
cut Colony, at Hartford in 1681. 

" At a general court held at Hartford May 12, 1681. 

This court being moved to grant liberty to erect a platform upon the hopp- 
ground, & ancient lands about Twelve miles to ye northwards of Stamford doe 
grant their request & appoynt Captain Richard Olmstead, Lieut Jonath Bell Lieut 


Jonathan Lockwood and Mr. Joseph Theal to be a committee to entertain such 
persons as shall plant there & to manage, order & dispose of ye affays of that 
plantation according to their best skill as may best aduance ye wellfar and groth 
of ye said plantation & they ear tacke care yt there be sutable loot laid out for 
the first minister of ye place & a loot for ye ministry to be and belong to ye 
ministry forever. This is a trew coppy tacken out oi the Records of Harf ord. 

Vera Copia 
Hartfrd Test. Eleazar Kimberly 

Janry 21st, 1696. Secretary."* 

Upon the nth of October, 1681, the proprietors of the Hop ground 
agreed that no one might be admitted as an inhabitant, nor should have 
power to sell or exchange the land that might be allotted to him, nor 
should he have any voice in disposing of lands, but that any inhabitant 
on paying forty shillings should have an equal share with the proprietors 
in all the undivided land. "The settlers seem to have feared the ac- 
cumulation of large tracts of land in the hands of single individuals. 
Hence, each man had a home lot of three acres which was to be for- 
feited if not built on in three years in the town, and a lot in the ' east 
field' or the great 'north plain,' and also some ' meadow land.' " a " In 
December, 1681, Samuel Barrett, Taebariah Roberts and Thomas Car- 
field commenced to inhabit only.:}: This man Roberts was chosen town 
clerk, afterwards Justice of the Peace and for many years prominent in 
nearly all the affairs of the town. "§ He was also a bitter opponent of 
the Church of England as we shall have occasion to show presently. 

"In December, 1681, Joshua Webb is received as Inhabitant, in 
case they shall agree with him to build a grist mill in ye place." "A 
committee was appointed to confer with Joshua Webb, and a mill and 
a dam were built by him and the town jointly, he to furnish the iron 
work and the town to cart and furnish the timber and mill-stones," and 
the mill when finished is to be the sd Joshua Webb's, his proper right 
and tytle, only he is not at any time to sell, alienate or any other ways 
dispose of ye said mill; except it be to him or them that the town shall 
appoint and the said Joshua doth binde himself; and his ; to finde the 
town at hop-ground with goodmeale, they finding good corne; the tole 
as in the law expressed." || 

* Address of Joseph Barrett July 4th, 1776, copied from the original document preserved 
among the old papers of John Holmes are of the original pioneers, now in possession of John 
C. Holmes, Esq., of Cross River, Lewisboro. 

a Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1S76. Recorder, Katonah, July 7th. 

tThe following will serve as a sample of the vote by which new settlers were received into 
the colony. The date is " December 1681. They give unto William Sturdeuant upon his 
acceptance and submitting to their order of reselling Inhabitants : they give him a house lott 
containing three Accres, and six Accres of land in the east feild : and three accres of mead- 
ow : he paying twenty shillings to ye company and to take twenty rod of fence in ye coman 
field for euer.'' — Address of Joseph Barrett, 

§Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1S76.— The Recorder, Wm. A. Miller and J. T. Lock- 
wood editors, &c. 

II Ditto. 


J 9 

" This mill stood on Myanos road about a quarter of a mile, or less 
above where James Miller's mill now stands. In 1701 the town "doth 
agree to buy " the mill of Richard Webb, son of Joshua, for the use of 
the town, for the sum of fifteen pounds. Another mill seems to have 
become necessary at this time, for in November 1701, "the town by a 
maigor vote doth agree that their corn mill shall be set upon beuer dam 
Riuer at the first conueniant place below davids broock : and that there 
shall be thirty acres of land laved out to the mill and to lye to it foreuer 
that the lawful oners of the mill shall enjoy the said thirty acres of land 
foreuer, not else." And very stringent "artickells of agreement" were 
entered into with John Dibell to build the mill, he is in the former case 
to "finde the town with good sofisiant meall, they finding good sofisiant 
corne" and he to have both mill and "thirty acres of land" foreuer. 
This was on the site where Cox's mill now stands. 

There is some reason for believing that this was the old mill removed 
to the new site. In October 1703, a little special legislation for the 
miller became necessary. "The town by maigor vote agreeth and 
ordereth that every munday shall be the day for the miller to attend to 
grind for the town and what corne or grain is brought to the mill to be 
ground within the 24 hours what is not ground within ye time aforesaid 
the miller is to attend to grind it next day."* 

At a court of election holden in Hartford, May nth, 1682, the fol- 
lowing license was granted to the people of the Hop ground: 

"Upon the petition of the people of the Hop ground, this court 
doth grant them the privilege of a plantation and do order that the name 
of the town be henceforth called Bedford, and this court doe appoint 
Joseph Theall to be the present chief military officer for the train band 
of Bedford, and Abraham Ambler is also empowered by this court to 
grant warrants, to swear officers and witnesses, and to joyne persons in 
marriage according to law, and they doe free the sayd towne of Bedford 
from county rates, for the space of three years next ensuing. h 

In 1683, Catoonah Sagamore and other Indians, convey to the pro- 
prietors of Bedford the land and meadow of Kohamong, lying South- 
west of the " Hop ground." 


Witness these present that we Katoonah, Saggamore and Papiag his son 
Tadaquid, Queranoy and Chickhoag, we proprietors of the land and mid- 
dow at Koaniong have for ourselves and for the rest of ye Indians which are 
proprietors of the said land and middow at Koaniong Commonly so-called have 
sold and by these presents doe sell, alienate, assign and set over from us and 
every one of us, and in the name and behalf of the rest of the proprietors of ye 
land and middow at Koaniong and all our heirs executors, administrators and 
assigns forever unto the proprietors of the town of Bedford, in the colony of 

* Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1876. Copied from the Kecorder, Katonah, July 7th. 
6. Cour. Col. Kec. Hartford vol. iii., fol. 131—134. 


Conecticot, them, their heirs, executors, Administrators and assigns for ever, A 
certain parsell of upland and middow as it is already marked by us Katoonah, 
Sagganiore and Papiag, his son tangaquid, queraway and ckicknoag unto ye 
proprietors of Bedford and theirs, which land and middow lyes at the South- 
west of the bounds of the said proprietors of Bedford, bought of ye Indians as 
appears by a former bill of sale, this above land and middow, with all the rights, 
title and priviledges thereof, wee doe make over from us and ours and from all 
those claiming right and title and theirs. 

for ouer unto the forenamed propriators of Bedford and doe acknowledge to 
have received full satisfaction for the said land and middow from the propria- 
tors of the town of Bedford and doe promise and engadge that the propriators 
of Bedford shall quietly poses and enjoy the same land and middow without 
molestationby us or any of ours for euer, as witnes our hands in Bedford the sec- 
ond day of may, one thousand six hundred eighty and three ; thus under 
written : — 

This bill of sale signed and delivered) His 

in the presence of us. ) KATO O NAH. 

JOHN GREEN, mark - 









This above bill of sale is acknowledged by the grantors, each of them 
before me. 
Bedford, the 2d day of) ABRAHAM AMBLER, 

May, 1683. j Comisionated. 

This bill of seall is entred in the publick records of Bedford ; p : 115. 

May 1st, 1702. 

By the settlement of the colonial boundaries, November, 1664, Bed- 
ford fell within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the line between the 
two colonies commencing from the east point of Mamaroneck River, 
where the fresh water falls into the salt at high water mark, north north- 
west to the line of Massachusetts. On the ground that this decision 
was erroneous, a further agreement was concluded at New York, 28th 
of October, 1683, between the governor of Connecticut and certain 
persons appointed to act with him, by which it was stipulated that the 
line between New York and Connecticut should begin at Byram River, 


at the east point, called Lyon's Point, and so up along the said river to 
the country road, west eight miles from Lyon's Point, and then twelve 
miles east north-eastward, thence in a line parallel to the North River 
and twenty miles distant therefrom, to the south line of Massachusetts- 
The whole matter being left subject to the King's ratification. By this 
settlement Bedford would have been transferred to New York, but the 
King's death unfortunately took place on the 6th of February, 1685, 
before its completion, in consequence of which the whole matter was ' 
again left open for a long and angry discussion which soon ensued. 

In 1685, the General Court of Connecticut issued an order to the ef- 
fect that all towns should take out patents, in due form, and that there 
should be legal evidence of their rights. In " lenwary 1687-8' 
there were 18 men at a town meeting who voted "that every one here 
present at the town meeting shall have a pees of land containing four 
akers added unto their former dividends for theyr faithfulness at the at- 
tending of towne meetings." Before the 28th of January, 1688, the 
Town ordered that as much money should be raised as may be neces- 
sary to pay for a patent. The annual meeting in March, 1690, chose a 
"dark, two sezars," (assessors) two fence "vewars," and two "souairs," 
(surveyors). In 169 1 they made " chois of Daniell Simkings for head 
man for ye town of Bedford, to end any contravercy between indians 
and inglish acording to the best of his skill." In 1693 the "round swamp 
on the south sid of Aspicung " was given to David Clason, for his four 
acres of "burnory land." 

The names of the inhabitants, including the resident proprietors of 
Bedford in 1692, number thirty-one, and were as follows : 

John Grum, N. Miran Clark, 

Joseph Miller, John Holmes, Sr., 

Joun Holmes, Richard Ayres, 

John Miller, John Holmes, Jr., 

Mrs. Wildman, Abraham Wildman, 

Mr. Dunham, Isaac Dunham, 

Zachariah Roberts, Jeremiah Andrews, 

John Webb, Richard Wescote, 

Stephen Clason, Daniel Simpkins, 

Stephen Holmes, William Clark, 

Abraham Ambler, John Brown, 

John Miller, Jr., Jonathan Miller, 

John Ambler, David Mead, 

Daniel Jones, Caleb Webb, 

Thomas Astor, David Clason, 
John Higgins. 


Upon the 25th May, 1692, Catonah, Noname, Wappomaham, Wene- 
nanopoage, Chickheog and Pommeshecon, sell to Daniel Simpkins, of 
Bedford, a certain piece of land lying west of the bounds of Bedford, 
to say half a mile square, as it is already marked and laid out by the 
Indians, and bounded as followeth, viz.: East by the bounds of Bed- 
ford, and south by a brook coming off from the west ridge, and west 
and north as it is marked by the aforesaid proprietors. 




r itnessed and delivered in ) 
the presence of us. j 



*Bedford Town Rec. vol. ; p. 839. 

In 1692 we find the proprietors of Bedford treating with Connecticut 
for a general patent for their township. The general Court however 
did not choose to grant their request until five years after, as we shall 
have occasion to show presently — again in 1692 at the October session 
of the general Court Mr. Underhill of Rye and Zachary Roberts of 
Bedford, were in attendance and the Court granted them an allowance 
for their expenses in coming ; to be payd at Stanford out of the county 

February 10th, 1695, the town ordered that the rates shall be issued 
according to the following valuations, viz: & 

Each head or person ... £12 

"Ox, 4 

" Cow, - - - - 3 

" Horse, 2 

All improved lands. - - - 15 

All improved meadow with fence, - - 10 

In March, 1695-6, we find Governor Fletcher of New York, writing 
to Governor Treat concerning sundry persons in Rye and Bedford who 
desired to have their land titles confirmed. 

a Public Rec. of Conn. Vol. iv, p S3. 

b Bedford Town Rec. 

c Boundary letters, Hartford, fol. 10, letter 137 


At a meeting of ye governor and council, held at Hartford, January 
19th, 1696, protection was granted to the towns of Rye and Bedford, as 
members of their corporation; and on the ioth of May following, 
Daniel Simpkins was appointed ensign for the latter town. January 
21st, 1696-7, Rye and Bedford applied to be united to Connecticut, 
upon which that colony concluded to receive them.* 

In a letter from Governor Fletcher, to the authorities of Connecticut, 
dated April 5th, 1697, the former complains about the latter's receiving 
Rye and Bedford, and thus withdrawing them from the obedience of 
New York. b 

To compel the refractory towns into obedience, Governor Fletcher 
issued a proclamation upon April 15th, 1697, in which he required Rye 
and Bedford to return to their allegiance. c 

April 19th, 1697, Governor Fletcher states that Major Sellick had 
interfered in favor of Connecticut, with fifty armed men/ 

In reply 30th of April, 1697, Connecticut disclaims the use of violent 
measures, and refers the whole matter to the King. 

Governor Fletcher and council, in answer to Connecticut, May ioth, 
1697, entitles the reasons of the latter subterfugees, and complains of 
her making a disturbance in time of war. In conclusion, Connecticut 
may rest assured that New York will use all lawful means to reduce 
the people to obedience. e 

From the following document it appears that in 1696/ the action 
of 'the Council of Connecticut was favorable towards the inhabitants of 
Bedford in granting these requests, and that, that action was approved 
by the general court in May, 1697 : 

May, 1697. 

To the Hon rd Govern 1- and Gen r11 Assembly sitting in Hartford. 

Whereas God by his providence orders all things : Att a General Court held 
in Hartford May the 11th, 16S2, upon the petition of the people of Hopground the 
Court did see cause to grant them the priviledg of a plantation as doth upon record 
appear— And in the year 16S4, there was a conditional agreement made between 
Colon 11 Dougan of New York and some of the heads of the freemen of this Cor- 
poration which proved almost our undoing for severall years together th^re was 
almost a c among us, because they cutt off Rye and Bedford from 

this Colonic Some said they were under New York, and some said they were 
not, but for peace sake we submitted to, and paid rates to New York — But if so 
be that Connecticut and New York could have made a firnie bargain without 

a Bound, letters, fol.10, p. 138. 

b Bound, letters, 140. 

c Bound, letters, 141. 

d Bound, letters, 141-2. 

e Bound, letters, Ino. 144. Bound, letters, 145. 

/ Printed Col. Rec. of Conn., Vol. iv, p. 192. 


the King, then we should have been at quiet, but them that know any thing 
know that it could not be. Then seing a copie that came from the Kings 
court at Whitehall, dated Aprill the 19th, 1694, and the records of England be- 
ing searched, it was found that the Charter of Connecticutt stood good and 
firme to the freemen of this Corporation, their heirs and associates, which we 
well knew that we were part of by the dividing line that was firmly confirmed to 
this government, then Jan ry the last petitioning the Govern 1 ' and Councill for 
protection they granted our request as may appear to this Assembly, therefore 
we request for what favour we can have from the Hon 1 ' 1 Court at this time for our 
growth and increase, as we may be beneficiall to the honour of God and the 
good of the country. Written in behalf of and upon the request of the inhabi- 
tants of Bedford. Your most Humble Servant 

Zachariah Roberts." 

The following memorandum of the quantity of land in each purchase 
— was found in a blank leaf of a book of laws and orders of Connecti- 
cut Colony (or MS.) 1697. 

old Purchase, 18415, 

New " 14376, 

N W. Corner, 6865, 

N. E. i 4266J, 

Vincent & Dibble, 4266|, 

Upon the 1st of May, 1697, the town petitioned for a patent embrac- 
ing ten miles in length, from the north end of Stamford bounds to ten 
miles northward into the woods and eight miles wide. The petition 
was granted on the 21st of May, and the following patent issued. 


Whereas, the General Court of Connecticott Colony Assembled May 13th, 
1697, hath granted unto the proprietters Inhabitants of the Towne of Bedford al 
thoss Lands boath Meadows, Swamps and uplands within these abuttments viz. 
Southerly on the bounds of the Townshipp of Stanford. Westerly on the 
Wilderness. Northerly on the Wilderness, and Easterly on the Wilderness 
or Land not layd out. Every of which sides is Six Miles in Length to 
witt. from the East side Westerly and from the South Side Northerly and 
is a Townshipp of six miles Square or Six miles on Every Side, which s d Lands 
have been by purchass or Otherwise, Lawfully Obtayned of the Indian Native 
proprieters and whereas the afoars d Proprietors Inhabitants of the Towne of 
Bedford have Humbly desired of the Gov ur and Company assembled in Court 
May 13, 1697, as afoars J that they may have a Pattent for the Confeirmation of 
the afoars 1 ' Lands so purchased and Granted to them and which they have stood 
Seized and Quietly Possessed of for many years Last past without interruption. 

Now for a more full Confeirmation of the afoars 1 Track of Land as it is butted 


Qurt. Rents. 


19, 3, 7-3. 


14, 19. 6. 


7, 3, 8-1. 


4, 8. 10. 2. 


4, 8. 10.2. 

a Kindly furnished by Charles J. Hadley, Esq., Conn. State Library, Hartford. Presented 
by Hon. Robt. C. AViuthrop. 


and bownded afoaresaid unto the present proprietors of the said Township of 
Bedford in their possession and Injoynient of the premises Know Yee that the 
said Governour and Company Assembled in Gen 1 Court according to the Com- 
mission Graunted them by his Maj's'y Charter. Have Given Granted & do by 
these presents Give Grant Kattifie and Confeirme unto Jno. Miller Sen r Danie 
Simkins Zachariah Robbert, Cornelius Seely Jeremiah Andrews Jno. West- 
coate Jno. Miller Jun r Jno. Holmes Jun r and the rest of the present proprie- 
tors of the Township of Bedford, their Heires and Successors Associates Assigns 
for Ever the afoares d Parcell or tract of Land of Six miles Square Containing 
aboute Twenty and three Thousand acres within the boundaries above mentioned 
together with all the Woods Meadows Pastures Ponds Waters Eivers Planes 
Fishings Huntings fowlings Mines Mineralls Quarries and precious stones 
upon or within the said Graunt of lands and all other Proffitts and Comodities 
thereunto belonging or in any ways Appurteineing and doe also graunt unto the 
af ores d Jno, Miller Dan ] Simkins Zach. Roberts Cornelus Seely Jerr. Andrass 
Jno. Westcoate Jno. Miller Jno. Holmes and the Rest of the proprietors Inhabi- 
tants of Bedford their Heirs Successors and assignes for Ever that the af ores d Tract 
of Land shall be for Ever hereafter Es'med, reputed bee an Intire Townshipp of 
it selfe to have and to Hold the said Tract of Lands and premises with all and 
singular their appurtenances with the privillidges and Immunetyes Franchizes & 
Huaditamuts herein Given and Granted unto the said Jno Miller, Danl. 
Simkins, Zach. Robberds, Cornelius Seeily, Jerr. Andrews, Jno. Westcoate, 
Jno. Miller Jun r Jno. Holmes and all others the Proprietors, Inhabitants, of Bed- 
ford, their Heirs and Successors and to the only propper use benefitt and behoof e 
of them and every of them their Heirs Assigns Successors and and Asso- 
ciates for Ever According to the Tenour of his Majestie's Manner of East 
Greenwich in the County of Kent in the Kingdom of England in Free 
and Common Lonage and not in Cappita nor by Knights Service yeilding 
therefore and paying to our Sovereigne Lord the King his Heires & Success- 
ors his dues according to Charter. Always provided that nothing herein con- 
tained shall extend to, or be understood or taken to Impeach or prejudice any 
Right, Title, Interest, Claime or Demands which any person or persons hath 
or have or Claime to have of into or out of any part of the said Townshippe 
seittuated within the Limitts above mentioned according to the Laws and 
General Customs of this Colony but that all and Every Such person and persons 
may and shall have, hold and Injoy the same in such manner as if these pres- 
ents had not been had or made. In Witness whereof we have caused the seale of 
the Colony to be Hereunto Affixed this one & Twentieth day of May in the year 
of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety and Seaven and in the 9th year 
of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lord William by the Grace of God and England 
Scottland, France and Ireland, King Fidei Defender &c. 
Bo order of the Gov" ROBERT TREATE, Governor. 

Eleazee Kimbeelt, Secretary, 

The above written with that or the other side is a true Copy of the Original 
being therewith Compared this 2d day of May, 1697. 

P r Me. E. K.« 

a Ancient Col. Rec. Conn. Deeds &c„ Vol. ii, pp. 254, 255. 


From the town records it appears that in 1697, Zachariah Roberts a 
was allowed by the town, three shillings a day, and half his expenses, 
and the town further ordered that every man should pay him two pounds 
of flax for his expenses in going to Connecticut about the said patent. 

In answer to Governor Fletcher's letter of May the 10th, the Gover- 
nor and general assembly of Connecticut reply May 19th, 1697, that 
they consider the arguments of New York weak and unsatisfactory, and 
are therefore, determined to protect these people. h 

May the 31st, 1697, Governor Fletcher and council find just fault 
with Connecticut for using " such a stile," and assert that Connecticut 
gave up these towns by arrangement, in 1683, and made no claim to 
them for twelve years or more, New York is therefore determined to 
pursue her duty." 

Governor Fletcher addressing the Lords of Trade, the same year, 
says : — ■ 

"Some time before I came down from Albany, two small towns of Rye 
and Bedford in West Chester County that ly next to Connecticut being 
much in arrearyes of taxes have revolted to Connecticut who counte- 
nance them notwithstanding I found there at my arrival part of this 
province, and so have continued till now, which is contrary to a stipu- 
lation made between the Collony and Coll. Dougan An° 1683 under the 
hands and seals of their Gov nr and assistants : I am loath to make 
warr upon any of His Majesties subjects and therefore lay this 
matter before your Lordships: They have invaded us with a 
Capt n and fifty men armed with Fuzees on Horseback, to disturb 
the election of a representative, pursuant to the King's writt at the 
town of Rye. I never found them so forward to give assistance to al- 
bany, upon the approach of the enemy, notwithstanding my frequent 
application & the Royal Commands, that did oblige their obedience." 
(New York, Col. M.S.S., vol. iv, 276.) 

Upon the accession or Lord Bellamont to the government of New 
York, April, 1698, we find Connecticut sending a delegation to con- 
gratulate him. In a letter dated May 6th, Lord Bellamont expresses 
his thanks and good will towards Connecticut, and encloses a letter from 
the Lords Commissioners of Trade, in regard to Rye and Bedford; he 
also denies their reasons for countenancing those towns in their revolt. d 

The Earl of Bellamont writing to the Lords of Trade 13th of May, 

a " In 1697 they sent the inevitable Zach. Roberts to confer with Governor Treat of Connecti- 
cut about being settled under the colony, and paid him 3 shillings a day " for himself and 
his hors, and paid halfe his expence." After his return Roberts had another town meeting 
and got an allowance for back-pay in the shape of an assessment of two pounds of flax on 
each man in the town." Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1S7G— Recorder Katonah. July 7. 

b Bound, letters, No. 147. 

c Bound, letters, No. 149. 

d Bound, letters, No. 146. 


1699, says, "your Lordships have sent me no orders about the towns of 
Rye and Bedford which revolted from this Province (to avoid paying 
taxes) to the government of Connecticut: to which town said govern- 
ment has noe colour or right (New York, Col. M.S.S., London, Doc. 
vol. iv, p. 517.) 

In reply, May, 1698, the deputy governor and assistants express the 
kindest and most friendly feelings towards his excellency, but cannot 
answer concerning Rye and Bedford until Governor Winthrop's return. d 
Upon the 29th of March, 1700, King William the third gave his ap- 
probation and confirmation to the agreement and survey of 1683 and 
1684, whereby Rye and Bedford were included in New York. 

"In November, 1699, the town received a great acquisition in Mr. 
Copp, of Norwalk, a surveyor and quite a scholarly man for that time. 
He was at once given a "home loot, twenty acres of out land, sixteen 
of plow land and four acres of medow land." He was also to have 
"the use of ye towne loot and ye towne land and medow in ye feild 
this next yeare, without they want of it for a minestar." The next 
month "the town by a maigor not chuse Mr. John Copp to put things 
to vote in theyr town meetings if he is presant." 

They also bought of "ye said Copp" a "grindle stone" for which 
they paid the modest price of "six acres of pastur land." For a while 
he quite eclipsed Zachariah Roberts. The next week they elected him 
town Treasurer, and put him on a " committy" to agree with the Indians 
for the land westward of the town. This committee arranged with the 
Indians for the "west purchase," included in the deed of Sept. 6, 1700, 
and it may have been incident to the negotiations that we find this 
entry on "Aprell 15, 1700. The town by a maigor vote doth agree 
y* if they fortify, it shall be John Holmes senrs hous, and ye house 
y* was Joshua Webb's desesed." It does not appear that it became 
necessary to fortify. 

The west purchase was made and "every man y* hath land in ye 
town hath liberty to put in a head," or share. — There were 36 of these 
head rights, of which Col. Jacobus Van Cortlandt had 8, Zach. Roberts, 
3, John Copp, 2, John Holmes, Jr., 2, and the rest one. The land was 
then surveyed by Copp and laid out into 36 lots of 50 acres each (for 
the small field plan seems to have become exploded) which were subse- 
quently drawn for by lot. One of the town books consists of the 
records of this "west purchase" or " new purchase," and is in the neat 
handwriting of Copp — Proprietors Clerk. It shows how he first laid out 
two highways ten rods wide from Broad Brook west to the Kisco Brook, 

d Bound, letters, No. 148. 


and then laid out his fifty acre tracts on each side of them. This book 
was accompanied by a map, which cannot now be found. The two ten 
rod highways were the one leading from S. C. Sutton's to Mt. Kisco and 
the nearly parallel one a mile south leading over Knapp's Hill, nearly in 
a straight course to Kisco Mountain. The present ''swamp road" run- 
ning south from Simeon Woolsey's was at this time laid out as a "four 
rod highway," but the liberal views of John Copp and his employers did 
not prevail with their successors and there are now but ordinary roads 
with occasional wide spots. There was also a quantity of rough land 
bounded "northerley by ye highway y 4 passes under Nonames Hill, 
called Frederick's path," (which I take to be the road leading from the 
Four Corners to Mt. Kisco). The division of the "west purchase" was 
not fully concluded until 1738." 

On the 31st of July, 1741, John Copp, of Norwalk, in the County 
Fairfield and Colony of Connecticut, in New England, for and in con- 
sideration of ye sum of 650 pounds, New England money bills of credit 
of ye old tennure, received of Moses Fountain, of Bedford, in West- 
chester County, in the Province of New York, the receipt whereof I do 
hereby acknowledge and myselfe therewith fully satisfied and contented, 
have given, granted, &c, viz., the following described parcels of land, 
being upland lying upon Bates hill, so called, containing about 8 acres, 
&c, bounded northerly by Richard Holmes' land, westerly by undivided 
land, southerly by the top or brow of said hill, and easterly by the land 
formerly granted to the builders of the meeting house and the land ex- 
changed with the Town, &c. b 

There was for many years after this date a great extent of common 
or town land, where the people pastured their cattle. It is probable 
that they also pastured lands not yet bought of the Indians. A brander 
for the town was therefore appointed and the cattle were marked with 
the owner's mark, and such entries as the following begin to appear on records : " Zachariah Roberts maketh entry of his ere marck 
for his marckeble creatures, namly a swalow forck on ye toop of each 
ere." " John Miller senr macks entry of his ere marck for his marckeble 
creatures namly one half penny on the under sid of the offe ere & a slit 
on the toop of the neer ere." These marks are found on record as late 
as 1813. 

On the 13th of March, 1700, the town sold to John Johnston one hun- 
dred acres of land for ^56, and some months after Crosse's vine- 
yard for £S. On the 6th of Sept. 1700, Katonah Sagamore and other 

a Address of Jos. Barrett July 4, 1876— Recorder Katonah, July 7. 
6 No. 3 of Bedford Town Books, p. 61. 


2 9 

Indians, chief proprietors of the lands about Bedford, made a convey- 
ance confirming to the inhabitants of Bedford a purchase made twenty 
years before, supposing that they had received their pay to their full sat- 
isfaction for ye lands and all the timber and feed on said lands " within 
ye bounds, as follows, namely : to begin where Beaver Dam River and 
Cross River meets and so to run on ye nor-west side of a brook called 
miry brook, and then to run cross the hills west on ye west side of Cis- 
qua meadow until it meets the river called Cisqua River and a great 
swamp, and so to run up the brook and by marked trees to the North 
Birum pond, and so to ye south end Cohansey, and then to a great red 
ash tree formerly marked by ye Indians for Bedford's southermost bounds, 
which stands on the west side of the west turn of Meanous River." 
Signed, sealed & delivered') 
in the presence of us : j 



His His 


Mark. Mark. 



SIri MON. 

On the 10th day of October, 1700, the General Court of Connecticut 
released Bedford from all allegiance. 

October, 17 13, Connecticut appointed certain Commissioners to meet 
those of New York in fixing the line. A final agreement and conclusion 
took place between the Commissioners at Dover, in Dutchess Co., May 
the 14th, 1 73 1, by which Bedford and Rye were forever hereafter included 
in ye province of New York. 

The following grant and confirmation, under the hand of Catonah, 
occurs on the 24th of July, 1700: 

Katonah, Sagamore and chief proprietor of ye land about Bedford, have 
formerly sold unto the inhabitants of the town of Bedford a certain tract of 
meadow land and upland northard from ye town and joining to their first pur- 

*Bedlord Rec, vol. i., p. 160. 


chase, which tract of land is bounded by a small brook east, which runs near ye 
west side of Fotiticus path, and west by Beaver Dam River, northerly by ye 
Cross River, and south by Bedford's land. This above-named tract of land 
Catonah have sold from me and mine, or any Indian or Indians laying claim 
thereunto, to ye inhabitants of Bedford, for a valuable consideration in band, 
already received, to my full satisfaction, &c. 

Signed, sealed and delivered ) His 

in presence of us. ) KATO M NAH. 

BENJAMIN HAIT, and mark. 



At a town meeting held in Bedford, Oct. 4th, 1701 . 

" The town by a maiger vote doth order the Committee to proceed with the 
Indians about purchasing ye lands westward of ye old purchase, and now 
marked the old purchase, formerly bought of the Indians November 3d, 1701. 
The town doth also agree that ye land westward of the first purchase shall be 
paid by beads, and every hand that payeth tbe Indians for it shall have every 
one of them an equal share, according to what they pay. At the same time a 
committee is chosen by vote, consisting of Zachariah Roberts, John Holmes, 
Jun., and Jonathan Petit, to see ye Indians satisfied for ye lands formerly bought 
of them, which is west of the first purchase." 

Upon the 4th of November, 1700 : 

"The town by a maiger vote doth devise and impower Mr. John Tomson & 
Zachariah Roberts, Senr., to go to New York & cleerup our ritsand priveledges 
in order to atainea patten toconforme tousourrits, titles & priveledges, &theyr 
chardges to be payed out of the above said bargen.a 

At a town meeting March 13th, 1701. 

The town of Bedford, by a maiger vot doth reseve Mr. John Tomson, late of 
Lundon, now trader in Stanford, an inhabitant in to ye town among us ; & do 
give, grant and sell to him an hundred acres of land on the north sid of the high- 
way yt gos to Daniell Simkings plain, bounded by the brook or indian line 
west, as it shall be layd out by the comitye, and if it is not all to be had there 
then to mack it up elce where as conveniant as may be, for : 56 : fifty-six shil. 
lings, all ready payd to the town, and he is to mack emprovements for ye space 
of three yers. & 

Upon the 4th of Feb'y, 1702, the town of Bedford sold to John Dib- 
ble, Crosse's vineyard purchase for ^18 ; on the 16th of March following, 

a Bedford book of ord., Rec. inss., p. 41. 
b Distr. 


John Dibble agrees to sell ioo acres of the same to Jacobus VanCourt- 
landt, &c. 

By a grant dated April 20th, 1702, Katonah and Wackemane convey- 
to the Inhabitants of Bedford all that tract of land, within the following 
bounds, viz: — 

" To begin where Beaver Dam River and Cross river meet and then to run 
across the south-westerly on the west side of Cisqua meadow, until it meets the 
river called Cisqua River and a great swamp, and so to run up the brook and 
by marked trees to the north end of Byram pond, and so to the north end of 
Cohamong pond, and then to a great red oak tree formerly marked by the 
Indians for Bedford southermost bounds which stands on the west side of the 
west turn of Meanau's River, and this above said land, we Katonah and 
Wackemane do sell for us, our heirs, &c, to the Inhabitants of Bedford. 

Signed sealed and delivered ) KATO!*! NAH. 

in presence of us, J mark. 


and JOHN HOLMES. mark. 









Upon the 4th of January, 1703-4, Katonah, Sagamore and Wackemane chief 
proprietors of the lands about Bedford, have sold, and by these presents doe 
sell, &c,, unto John Dibble of Bedford, in the county of West Chester, &c, a 
certain tract of upland and meadow, &c, all within ye bounds hereafter named 
and bounded by marked trees, from one branch of Beaver Dam River south- 
ward of Stone Hills, and to run westward of Stone Hills, northward by marked 
trees until it meets with a brook coming out of Stone Hills, and so to be bound- 
ed by ye said brook until it meets the Cross River, and bounded by the said 
Cross River until it meets a small brook, and then bounded on the westward by 
Bedford's cross vineyard purchase, southerly and eastwardly until it meets ye 

From the original, in possession of the Hon. Jolm Jay. 


aforesaid branch, which tract of land thus bounded we Catonah and Wacke- 
mane for us, our heirs, &c, have sold to the above said John Dibble, &c. 
Signed sealed and delivered > His 

in presence of us, | CAT 0>4 NAH. 













The same year we find John Dibble and wife conveying to Jacques 
Van Courtlandt 700 acres of land lying in Bedford, called the Vineyard 
Purchase, besides a certain parcel of meadow and upland in ye bounds 
of said Bedford, first purchased, with marked trees northerly, eastwardly 
by a small brook which runneth into Cross River, and northerly by the 
Cross River, and southerly by the Cross River, containing about 400 

In 1 703, the town granted John Thomson formerly a London merchant 
but lately of Stamford, a tract of land on condition that he should pay 
forty shilling, "and to bring up four hundred sheep and lambs next 
summer and let them to ye inhabitants of ye town for two bits in money 
or one pound and halfe of flees wool as the sheep afords it yearly." 

Upon the 5th of May, 1703, Catonah Sagamore and Wackeinane, for them- 
selves and in behalf of any other Indians concerned, sell to Zachariah Roberts 
of Bedford, all that land between Bedford bounds and Muscotah River which 
lycth between Cisqua River and ye Cross River, for the several particulars here- 
inafter named. 

This is ye truth of ye bargain test. Zaohakiah Roberts, Sen. 

10 pieces of eight which is paid, 
6 shirts, 
4 dozen coats, 
2 blankets, 

1 broad cloth coat, 
4 lbs of powder, 

4 hatchets, 

2 gallons of rum.« 

* From the original in the possession of Hon. John Jay. Bedford Book of Public Kec. 
vol. i, p. 181. 
aTown Rec. of Deed, vol. i, p. 69. 



July 24th, 1703, Catonah and Wackemane sell to Jacobus Van Cortlandt of 
the city of New York, and Zachariah Roberts, senr., of Bedford, a certain 
tract of upland meadow and swamp, all within ye bounds hereafter named, that 
is to say to begin where Beaver Dam River and ye Cross River meets, and so to 
run westwardly by Bedford's marked trees, until it comes to a black oak tree 
marked upon a high hill, and then to run west to Cisqua River, and then down said 
River until it runs into Muscotah River and then to keep ye south side of Muscotah 
River until it meets the aforesaid river, and to keep the said Cross River until it 
meets ye aforesaid Beaver Dam River, &c. The Indians acknowledge that 
they, the Indians, have received all our pay to our full satisfaction. 

Syned sealed and delivered ) 
in the presence of us. f 




Town Kec. of Deeds vol. i. 70. 

In 1700, after the decision which left the town within the province of 
New York, the people began to again agitate the matter of getting their 
patent confirmed, and sent John Thomson and Zach. Roberts to New 
York, which was then the capital, on that mission ; but nothing came of 
it until May 14, 1702, when they empowered "Mr. Capt. Peter Mathews 
to git our patent and privileges confermed to us the town of Bedford as 
soon chep and easy as may be," and they promised Mathews a "grate- 
tude of land" for his services. So the next year they gave him 300 
"akers on the south sid of the road that goeth from bedford to hutsons 


Riur and so by the place whair Wainpas wigwam was." Upon this the en- 
terprising Zach. Roberts got the town to vote him a large tract near the 
west boundary, " on condision that he goeth to New York and ioynes 
with, and is helpful to Captain Peter Mathews." It appeared that Zach. 
Roberts helped to "git" the patent and got his land, and in "Ogust" 
of that year Mathews asked for and obtained 700 acres more, and in 
1707, 200 more, making 1200 acres in the southwest corner of the 
patent, that is, in the vicinity of Mount Kisco. a 

The patent was granted to the inhabitants of Bedford by Queen 
Anne on the 8th day of April, 1704. The grantees yielding and ren- 
dering to the Crown therefore the sum of ^5 per annum. 

This Quit Rent was annually paid in New York, and mention of its 
being levied and collected is occasionally found in the minutes of the 
Town meetings. 6 


"Whereas the general court of Connecticut on the 13th day of May in ye 
year of our Lord Christ, 1697, hath granted unto the proprietors, inhabitants of 
the town of Bedford, then within that colony, all those lands, &c, in their 
abutments, viz : southerly on ye bounds of the township of Stamford, west- 
wardly by ye wilderness, north on ye wilderness, and eastwardly on ye wilder- 
ness or land not laid out, every of which sides is six miles in length, which said 
lands have been by purchase or otherwise lawfully obtayned of the native Indian 
proprietors thereof, &c, and the governor and company of the said colony assem- 
bled in general council by virtue of their charter afterwards to wit, ye 21st day 
of May, in the ninth year of King William, did give, grant, ratify and confirm 
&c, unto John Miller, sen., Daniel Simpkins. Zachariah Roberts, Samuel 
Seeley, Jeremiah Andrews, John Westcoate, John Miller, jun., and John Holmes, 
jun , and the rest, &c. The aforesaid parcel of land six miles square the privi- 
leges of being one entire township by patent. 

We have given, granted, &c, to our loving subjects, Zachariah Roberts, sen., 
John Holmes, sen., Cornelius Seely, sen,, Zachariah Roberts, jun., Cornelius 
Seely, jun., John Miller, jun., Jonathan Miller, John Holmes, jun., David Mil- 
ler, Richard Holmes, Jonathan Holmes, David Holmes, Capt. Peter Mathews, 
Col. Jacobus Van Courtlandt, Obadiah Seely, Stephen Claeson, John 
Westcoate, jun., Richard Westcoate, Nathan Clarke, Joseph Hunt, 
Richard Ayres, Jeremiah Andrews, Joseph Palmer, David Mead, John 
Dibble, Daniel Jones, John Clapp, Thomas Howard and Vincent Simpkins, their 
heirs the said tract of 23,000 acres, called ye town of Bedford, &c. Witness 
our right trusty and right well beloved cousin, Edward Vicount Cornbury, Cap- 
tain General and Governor in chief of our province of New York and New 
Jersey, and ye territories and tracts of land depending on them in America 
Admiral of the same, &c, in council at Fort Anne, New York, the 8th day of 
April, in the third year of our reign A. D. 1704. c 

a Address of Jos. Barrett July 4, 1876. Recorder Katonaa, July T. 
b Mr. Barrett .says it was thus paid until 17(57. 
c Albany Book of Patents, vol. vii 271. 


In the spring of 17 14 a rate was levied on ye proprietors of ye town- 
ship of Bedford, in proportion to their several properties therein, for ye 
raising ye sum of ^S° for ye discharging of her majesties dues of quit 
rent for ten years. 

The proportion of Col. Jacobus Van Cortlandt for 2565 
acres in ye north west corner of ye patent lands was . £6 08 06 
For his vineyard purchase, 607 acres . . . . 1 10 05 

For his right in Dibble's purchase, 762 acres . . 1 18 00 

For his right in ye new purchase . . . . 2 13 04 

The following document is extracted from a manuscript volume enti- 
tled " the receipt book of the quit rents of Bedford, paid from 17 14 to 

" Received of Mr. Jonathan Miller and Joseph Seel ey the sum of fifty pounds, 
proclamation money, being in full for ten years quit rent for the town of Bed- 
ford to the 25th of March last. T. BYERLY, Coll.* 
Witness my hand this 1st day ) 

of May, A. D. 1714. 5 

£50, procl. money. 

Upon the 12th of October, 1705, John Dibble, by a bill of sale, con- 
veyed all his right, title and interest in the town of Bedford to Jacobus 
Van Cortlandt. This individual subsequently became invested in the 
rights of Jonathan Miller on the 15th of October, 17 13, and Zachariah 
Roberts, on the 13th of October, 17 17. 

The last Indian deed for lands in Bedford bears date 23d of January, 
1722, wherein Lackawawa and Peparinuk and Moses, Indian natives 
and owners of ye land on ye north side of Cross River, in ye bounds of 
Bedford, for ye sum of twenty pounds, conveyed to Joseph Seely and his 
heirs, &c, "being on ye north side of ye Cross River, so called, and 
bounded as follows : Easterly by a brook that runeth into sd river, 
westerly by a brook yt runs to ye Cross River, northerly by two black 
ash trees, southerly by ye above Cross River, &c. 
Sealed and delivered in presence of 



ZACH. MILLS. mark. 

His His 


mark. mark. 

His His 


mark. 6 mark. 

a Copied from original, in possession of Hon. Jonn Jay. 
b Bedford Rec. vol. ii. p. 111. 


This last deed marks the end of Indian rule in Bedford. It is the 
only one of the "nine" deeds which is not signed by Katonah Saga- 
more. Hence it is to be inferred that he died between 1704 and 1722, 
and was spared the pain of seeing the last of his happy hunting grounds 
pass out of the possession of his race. Tradition tells us, that he lies 
buried beside his favorite wife on the heights of Cantitoe ( Katonah' s own 
land), and two immense boulders on the farm of Henry E. Pellew, Esqr., 
are shown as marking the spot, where, with his face towards the rising 
sun, lies all that was mortal of the great chieftain."* Katonah may 
have been the son of Powahag or Powahay the eldest son of Onox, and 
left issue at least two sons, who figure in the Bedford conveyances, viz., 
Papiag and Wackemane. 

A remarkable feature about these Indian deeds of Bedford is, that 
with the exception of the first one, no consideration of great value is 
in any case named. The bargains were usually made " to the full satis- 
faction" of the grantors; and the doubtful phraseology leads to the 
suspicion that some of the early settlers had the knack of making easy 
bargains with the red men when they were in good humor. In many of 
their bounds, except where streams were followed, these deeds are indefi- 
nite, and it is believed that in some cases parcels of laud were included 
in two or more deeds, and other parcels were left out entirely. They 
could afford to be careless about a few acres at the prices of those 
times.' 6 

Upon the 23d of June, 1736, "the land to the north of Cross River 
was divided by lot among the twenty-nine proprietors of Bedford." 

Among the largest landed of the proprietors of Bedford was Jacobus 
Van Cortlandt, son of Hon. Oloff Stevens Van Cortlandt and 
brother of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, Lord of the manor of Cortlandt 
(which lordship embraced the upper portion of the town). This indi- 
vidual had purchased lands here from the Indians and settlers as late as 
1 7 1 4, so that his estate, as we shall have occasion to show presently, 
when divided in 1743, amounted to 5,115 acres. 

On the 10th of April, 1738, Jacobus Van Cortlandt devised " all his 
tenements and hereditaments situated within the patent and township of 
Bedford to his son Frederick Van Cortlandt, of Yonkers, and his three 
daughters : Margaret, wife of Abraham Depeyster ; Anne, wife of John 
Chambers, and Mary, wife of Peter Jay, the parties giving mutual leases 
and releases to one another." 

a Address by Joseph Barrett July 4th, 1876, Recorder Katonah July 7th. 
b Hist, sketch of the town of Bedford delivered by Joseph Barrett, 1876. Record Katonah 
July 7. 
c. Co. Rec, lib. G., fol. 208. 


Frederick Van Cortlandt, one of the above devisees, obtained a release 
from the following freeholders of Bedford on the 2 ist of September, 1 741 : 

Hezekiah Roberts, John Holmes, Daniel Holly, 

John Miller, Jonathan Westcoat, Nathan Clark, 

Joseph Seely, Richard "Westcoat, Moses Fountain, 

Jonathan Holmes, Daniel Miller, John Miller, 

Zachariah Mills, Richard Holmes, Samuel Miller, 

Jonathan Seely. Daniel Haight, Samuel Barras, 

Ebenezer Holmes, Philip Ayres, Ebenezer Owen. 

Jonathan Miller, Vincent Simpkins. 

From an original map, drawn up by Samuel Purdy, surveyor, it 
appears that a partition of Jacobus Van Cortlandt's estate took place in 
1743. To Frederick Van Cortlandt was allotted 1,424 acres ; to Abra- 
ham De Peyster, 1,110 acres; to John Chambers, 1,282 acres; and to 
Peter Jay, 1,299 acres. 

Upon the death of Peter Jay, Esq., in 1782, his share fell to three 
sons, Peter, Frederick and John. The latter was subsequently invested 
with a large portion of the original allotment. a 

By the decease of the Honorable John Jay, in 1829, his son, the late 
William Jay, Esq., became the sole proprietor of the Bedford estate, 
which since his death has passed to his son, the Hon. John Jay ; the 
Hon. John Jay, therefore, is the only descendant of Jacobus Van Cort- 
landt that owns a foot' of the original patent in the town of Bedford. 
Abraham De Peyster sold to various individuals. The descendants of 
the ancient proprietors of the Hop grounds (resident in Bedford) are 
still very numerous, viz.: the Greens, Millers, Holmes, Roberts, Amblers, 
Clarks, Ayres, Westcoats, Simpkins, Meads, Webbs, Clasons and Higgins. 

New York, 2d Nov., 1785. 

Dear Sir : Mr. Taylor, the Bearer hereof, waits upoa you with a petition 
which we propose to present to the Superior Court of Common Pleas for West- 
chester Co., in order to have commissioners appointed, agreeable to a late act of 
Assembly, to divide the lands of the late Mrs. Chambers, at Bedford, among her 
Devisees. They are now in a neglected, ruinous Condition, and until divided 
and properly attended to, will continue to decrease in value. I intend to go to 
Bedford next week, in order to see this Business put in a proper train. Be 
pleased to sign the Petition and return it to Mr. Taylor. 

Mrs. Jay joins with me in desiring you to present our best Compliments to 
Mrs. De Peyster and the rest of the Family. 

I am, Dear sir, your most ob't serv't, 

(Signed.) JOHN JAY. 

Mr. James De Peyster, Jamaica. 

a. The following letter of Chief Justice John Jay to James DePeyster shows that the lands 
of Anne Van Cortlandt, daughter of Jacobus, and wife of Judge John Chambers, and sister 
of Mary Jay, mother of the writer, had not been divided as late as 1TS5. 


The village of Bedford is delightfully situated a little north of the 
Mehanas River, in a large and fertile vale almost environed by high 
hills. The surrounding country, is well wooded, and watered by several 
streams tributary to the Croton. The principal of these are the Myanos 
the Pepemighting, misnamed the Kisco, the Cisqua or Beaver dam, and 
the Peppeneghek or Cross River. Bedford was for a long time a half 
shire town with White Plains, (which is located sixteen miles south), 
but within a few years last past, the courts have been held entirely at the 
latter place. 

Court House, Bedford. 

"The present Court House was built in 1787. Courts had been held 
in Bedford in the Presbyterian Church to that date, and Bedford con- 
tinued to be a half shire town of the county until 1868. The Board of 
Supervisors frequently met at Bedford about the end of the last century. 
In 1723, Richard Holmes, collector of this town, was "required forth- 
with" to collect a tax upon the "freeholders, Residents, Inhabitants and 
Sojourners" within the town of Bedford for the purpose of "finishing 
ye Court-House and Gaol in ye County." This Court-House was 
probably the one at Westchester, for White Plains was not made the 
County seat until 1758. The tax for this town amounted to the enor- 
mous sum of two pounds one shilling and nine-pence. " a 

As early as 1680 the proprietors of the Hop-ground (then residing at 
Stamford) appointed a committee "for the purpose of laying out a town 
spot, and house lots, the latter to consist at least of three acres each, 
also a town common, field or park, Avas directed to be laid out." At 

a Address by Joseph Barrett, July 4. 18T6, Recorder, Katonah, July 7. 


this period the Hop ground formed a part of Stamford township within 
Fairfield county, and was therefore under the jurisdiction of Connecti- 
cut. In 1 68 1 the general court of that colony ordered the laying out 
of a plantation at the Hop ground. 

On the nth of October, 1681, the proprietors of the Hop ground 
appointed a committee to lay out and divide the residue of the land at 
the Hop ground. It was also agreed to receive eleven inhabitants in 
order to form a town, and a committee appointed to go and view 
the land for the purpose of laying out a cart way to the Hop 

"Upon the nth of May, 1682, the general court ordered that the 
name of the town be henceforth called Bedford?' 

Bedford has for a long period been celebrated for its schools. "The 
Bedford academy was one of the first Institutions chartered by the Re- 
gents of the University after their incorporation in 1784, but is not now 
subject to their supervision."* 

The Bedford Female Institute, which is situated on a beautiful hill, 
(formerly known as part of the "East Field") surrounded by a grove of 
forest trees, is an incorporated institution and under the control of a 
board of trustees, subject to the Regents of the University. "In 1813 
the town voted to comply with the State act providing for common 
schools and elected the requisite board of Commissioners and Inspectors. 
Since that time the town has maintained (besides the Academies and 
Seminaries already alluded to) fifteen public schools and has been fully 
up to the average rural towns in matters of education." 6 

"Bedford yields nothing that is interesting in a business point of view; 
Before the construction of the Harlem Rail Road there was quite a 
lively traffic carried on by means of stages along the Boston post road 
which passes through the villages between New York and Danbury." 

Accommodations for travellers have always been had from a very 
early period — "as early as 1698 a hotel became a necessity; and Corne- 
lius Seely, sen, was chosen as keeper of the "Ordinary" "to give enter- 
tainment according to law." c 

The next mention of taverns is nearly a hundred years later when 
six "Inns" were alluded to for which the license fees were 2 pounds and 
10 shillings each." 1 * 

A large hotel still occupies the site of Seely's tavern in the village, 
(kept by Robert J. Jimmerson) which affords excellent accommodations 

a Address of Joseph Barrett. 

b Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1S76. 

e Ditto Bedford, M.S.S. p. 32. 

d Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1876. 


to parties visiting the town for the salubrity of its air or the beauty of 
its scenery. 

The old burying ground of the Town is situated on the declivity near 
the Methodist meeting house in the village directly under Bates's hill — 
This spot was formerly a part of the "common" (of which only "the 
green" now remains), laid out in 1681. 

Tradition says that the Indians at one time interred their dead here. 
It is quite certain, however, that the white settlers used it from the be- 
ginning for burying their dead. April 7th, 1784, it was voted at a town 
meeting " That the Burying Ground be fenced in agreeable as it was 
laid out for or sett apart for Burying the dead." Again it was "voted 
that James McDonald, Philip Peck and James Trowbridge be a com- 
mittee to superintend the work and see that it be done."** 

Occasional notes in the town records refer to repairing the fence by 
setting new posts &c, until 1802, the care of it was made over to the Presby- 
terian Society; this continued three years, when the town voted to raise 
by subscription money to build a stone wall about the ground ; after- 
wards it was the practice to rent it "for the pasture of sheep and calves 
only." & 

The ground contains many curious memorials. 

The Sacred W. W. 

Decea to the memory of here lies the 

sed Col. Lewis McDonald Esq. body of Thomas 

Thomas and Sarah his wife Woolsey 

Woolsey being a native of North Britain also 

born in boine at Strathspey 1709 Jacob Brian 

the year and departed this life 2-i July, 1777. son of Thomas 
A. D.^ 16G5. born Sept. 1773 ob. 1760. 

The first religious society organized at Bedford in 1 680-1 wasCongre- 
gregational, at that time the established religion of the Colony of Con- 
necticut — so that it was a kind of Church and State affair, for the town at 
regular meetings transacted all the business of a religious nature. 

The proprietors of the Hop Ground appear to have made early pro- 
vision for the erection and support of a church, for, on the 2 2d of 
March, 1680, the "proprietors agree that what the committee had done 
in laying out ye town plot and the house lots shall stand, and the place 
they reserved for the town common, and the town lot to be as they laid 
it out and the meeting-house sh^ll be set upon the common so layed out, 
namely, the rock called Bates his Hill." 

a Bedford Town Bee, Book ii, p. 4. 

b Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1ST6. 

c Hist, of Presb. Cli. Bedford, by Rev. P. B. Heroy. 


In 1681, the General Court, held at Hartford, instructed the com- 
mittee then residing in Stamford, who had been appointed to lay out a 
plantation at the hop ground, "to take care that there should be a suit- 
able lot laid out for the first minister of the place, a lot for the minister 

The first minister of the Congregational society who preached in Bed- 
ford was the Rev. John Prudden who, in 1675, the General Courts of 
Connecticut ordered to resume his settlement in Rye. It would appear 
that he came from where he had formerly preached for some time. In 
the town we have this minute : 

"Dec. 2d, 1681. They agree to give Mr. priddon, of Gemeco, (Ja- 
maica,) a call to be a minister in this place. Joseph Theale the chief 
military officer of the train band of Bedford is chosen to goe to Mr. 
priddon to declare theire mind in order to his coming among them as 
above; and Abra. Ambler who was appointed by the Court at Hartford 
to grant warrants to officers e witnesses, and to join persons in marriage, 
is desired so write to Mr., priddon in theire name and behalf : " Mr. 
Prudden accepted their invitation and came and preached for them 
some time." 

Mr. Prudden was a son of the Rev. Peter Prudden, who came to 
New Haven in company with the celebrated John Davenport and had 
charge of the church in Westerfield, Conn., in 1638. John was born at 
Milford, Conn., Nov. 9th, 1645, to which place his father had removed, 
with a few of his congregation, in 1640, and began the settlement of 
that town. He graduated at Harvard College in 1668, and was twenty- 
five years of age when he came to Jamaica,"* March 6th, 1670. From 
Jamaica he went to Rye in 1675, and came here as we have seen in 1681. 
He subsequently returned to Jamaica, and "on the 23d of Aug., 1692, 
received a call from the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, N. J., to 
succeed Mr. Pierson, which he accepted. He continued minister of 
this church until Jan. 9th, 1699, when for some cause, not now known, he 
was dismissed. He died at Newark, Dec. nth, 1725. His epitaph is 

as follows : 

Here lies the body 



minister of the Gospel, 

who departed this life 11 Dec. , 1725, 

Aged 80 Years. 

" He sustained a worthy character as a man of sense and religion, 
though he does not appear to have been a popular preacher. His de- 
ft Hist, of Presb. Ch. Jamaica, L. I., by Jas. M. Macdonald, p. 21. 


scendants are numerous and reside chiefly in Morris Co., N. J.; some 
of whom are said to have been distinguished as worthy and useful mem- 
bers of society."* 

Jan. 28th, 1688, the Rev. Thomas Denham was called and settled in 
Bedford, and the town ordered that ^20 be raised for his salary. He 
was son of John Denham, deacon, and one of the first purchasers of 
Dartmouth ; preached at Sheepscott in Massachusetts colony (now in 
Maine), and suffered great losses in the destruction of that settlement 
in 1675 during King Philip's war. He came to Rye in 1677 and re- 
mained till 1684. Says a historian, "He was advanced in life when he 
came and was held in great respect by the people here who gave him 
proprietary rights, which descended to his son Isaac who became one of 
the principal men of the place. Mr. Denham had preached a long time 
in the town of Rye previous to his settlement here." This was evidently 
his last settlement, for it is reported that he died in Bedford after a few 
months' labor, aged 67. His will is said to be on record in the Court 
House at White Plains, and his grave is on the hillside in our old grave- 
yard in the village. 6 

During the next eight or ten years the people seemed to be supplied 
with the labors of intelligent laymen in carrying on the Sabbath and 
conducting their religious services. 

September 23d, 1689, the town by vote agreed that "in case Mr. 
Abram Ambler, senr, will come up and carry on the Sabbath as God 
shall enable him, we will give him the sum of ^20 a year as long as he 
shall perform the work among ais." October 15th, 1689, we have this 
minute which somewhat modifies the former vote : 

" At a town meeting the town doth agree to build Mr. Abram Ambler 
Senor, a frame fortey foots long & twenty-two foots wide and to set it up 
fit for clabording & shingling and to rais it up by the last of March to 
come after the deate thereof & the house above mentioned is to be teen 
foots & a half between ioynts and the frame above mentioned is to be 
set up upon the consideration that Mr. Abraham Ambler, Senor, will 
com up as often as he can conveniantly to cary on the Lord's day 
amongst us one year yt he may settle with us." May 14th, 1690, seven 
months after the former vote, at another town meeting we have the 
following minute: "The town doth by uote chuse Zachariah Roberts 
for to cary on the Sabba th day whill they can be othexvvays provided." 

Jannewary, 1694, we have this vote: "The town by vote doth agree 
that as much land e medow as can be spaired e not predigous to high- 
ways yt lyeth one the norwest sid of whiping-post brook shall be keept 
for a ministar e to be disposed to now man els but a minister." 

a Hist. Presbyterian Ch. Jamaica, L. I., by Jas. M. Macdonald. 
6 Hist of Presbyterian Ch. Bedford, by Rev. P. B. Heroy. 


October 16th, 1694, the town agreed to buy a house and lot of John 
Ambler for a parsonage, "provided his price do not exceed ,£25." In 
all probability, the spot on which the Presbyterian church (built in 1872) 
now stands is a part of this original purchase. 

"February 21st, 1694-5. The town by uote doth chois John Holmes, 
Sen., Zachariah Roberts, John Wascott e Daniell Jones to carry on the 
Sabbath day according to theyr descresion wbill they ear other ways 
provided. 2ndly. The town doth by vote mack choice of Cornelus 
Selly to carry on the Lord's day along with ye others chosen e yt in 
Daniell Jones roome. 

March 21st, 1698. The inhabitance of the town of Bedford by a 
maiger uote doth order e agree yt. every acre of land e meadow within the 
bounds of Bedford that is alooted unto pertickler persons; both im- 
proved e not emproved; that is to say, what every man doth possess 
for their one; that man or parson shall pay three pence an acre yearly 
for evry acre towards the maintaining of a minister amongst us. 

2nly. The town by a maigor uote doth order ' that this above said 
uote shall be presented unto the Jenarall Court at Herford, that it may 
be established as a law for the town of Bedford." Their supplies all 
seemed to leave them, and "ieneuary 9th, 1698-9: the town by a mai- 
gor uote doth order that there shall be a request made to the ministars 
of the county to inquire for us, e to acquaint us where we maybe likely 
to ataine to a ministar and for his encuredgment we do agre upon seri- 
ous consideration for his incuredgment to give him a house loot e 
forty acres of land e medow; e thurty pounds a yer in curant provision 
pay. Febuary 8th, 1698-9. The town by a maigor vote doth agree to 
improve the town loot this year in the town way towards the maintain- 
ance of a ministar e to mack theyer fence, now belonging unto ye 
house loot e euery inhabitant to mack theyer equall sharis up with good 
sofisiant fine raill fence as it shall be layed out by ye towns men e it is 
to pass the vewars; — e the town dos agree to plow, plant e tend the loot 
in a way of a town rate, e if any refuse or nedgleckt to dew theyr shair 
of fence up by the fifteenth of march next to come shall pay four shill- 
ings a rood to the town men as they may have it dun up as above said. 

"16th of December, 1692, David Mead was chosen by the town to 
keep the town drum, to keep it in repair and to beat it when necessary, 
and to be allowed 10 shillings yearly." 

Prior to the use of bells in New England, the meetings were sum- 
moned by beat of drum, or the blowing of the conch shell: to this 
practice the poet alludes : 

"New England's Sabbath day," 
Is heaven-like, still and pure, 
Then Israel walks the way 
Up to the temple's door : 

The time we tell, 

When there to come, 

By beat of drum, 

Or sounding shell. 


In 1699 the town votes to exchange with Stewhen Clason 4 acres of 
swamp and give him 4 acres of upland if he will "beat the Drum until 
this day twelve month," the town to keep the drum in repair. 

November 14th, 1699. The town by a maigor uote doth grant yt 
Mr. Copp shall have the use of ye towns land e medow in ye feild this 
next year without they want it for a ministar." 

Their efforts for a minister were successful, for before the close of the 
year we find these records : 

desember; 26 1699: The town by a maigor uote doth agre to give 
unto Mr. Joseph Morgan upon his comming to carry on ye ministry 
amongst us, seuerall particklars as followeth for his settlement: 

ily to give him all yt rit of land e medow which the Town bought of 
Mr. Ambler e of his son John upon the condisions of his comming and 
macking his abood three years with us. 

2nly To build him a hous two story high, twenty-seven foot long e 
twenty on foots wid with a leantu e a chamber chimbly e the condishans 
that if Mr Morgan liveth e dyeth with us the house shall be his on e his 
ayers for euer, e otherwise if Mr. Morgan see cause upon any acount to 
leave us he shall pay to the town the ually of the chardg yt by an acount 
taken there of shall be giuen. 

3ly To giue him for maintainance for the first year forty pounds in 
good currant prouision paye and plant and mannure four acres of Land. 

4ly To maniage for years following and till ten acres of Land for 
winter grain=the produce of ye same for him yerly=& twenty pounds 
in good currant prouision paye and more hereafter as god shall inable 
us if he stands in need thereof — two pounds of the same to be Delivered 
at Stamford or horse neck, if he Desires it. 

5ly. To cut and cart to his Dore all his fire wood from yeare to yeare. 

61y to transport him and his famely to bedford or to be at ye charg 
their e of. 

Jenen 1st. The town by a magor uote ses caus to repeall part of the 
first and second uote passed desember 26th, '99, e to resarue the hous e 
the whole homestead to themselves, except Mr. Joseph Morgan liueth 
& dyeth with us. 

2ly. The town by a maiger uote, doth chuse e mack chois of Mr. 
John Copp, Stephen Clason, John Miller, iuner, Richard Wascott, David 
Mead for theire commitie, for to agree with Mr. Joseph Morgan for his 
settlement at Bedford acording to the acts of the town, e to tack the 
caire of ye whole manigment for his maintinance in case he commeth to 
dwell with us. 

Joseph Morgan was the grandson of James Morgan, who settled in 
Conn., 1647, with the first settlers. He was the son of Joseph Morgan, 
born in New London Nov. 6th, 1672, and was graduated at Yale Col- 
lege. During the first year of his settlement he was ordained by the 
ministers of Fairfield County, and preached a sermon, according to the 
custom of that time. June 12, 1700, he was indicted under the act of 
1693 for settling a ministry, but was acquitted. Two years after, 1702, 


he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, as one of the first class of 
graduates of Yale. When he commenced preaching, contrary to the 
practice of the times, he used notes, but some of his brethren protested 
so strongly that he quickly abandoned them. Having ministered at 
Bedford and during part of the time in the neighboring town of East 
Chester for nearly four years, he removed to Greenwich, Conn., and 
preached there till 1708. "It seems that in 1705, to encourage and 
sustain Mr. Morgan, the right had been granted to him to build a mill 
at the mouth of Coscob River, now known as Davis's mill. He built 
the mill and went to live near it that he might manage it in person, and 
see that his people's grists were well ground. The congregation, after a 
while, thought his zeal in this matter was rather greater than they had 
bargained for, especially as his position down at the mill made him inac- 
cessible to the people, and rendered his visits among them angel-like, 
' few and far between.' Finding remonstrance, however, vain, they first 
referred the case to the neighboring ministers, to say what should be 
done. This showed forbearance on their part. Meanwhile, the good 
brother, as he had to take his salary, according to the custom of those 
early times, in grain, and a short allowance at that, thought it wise to 
stick to his mill. Whereupon the Horse?ieck people, never wanting in 
spirit when spirit was called for, grew impatient. They sent their com- 
mittee, Ebenezer Mead, Joshua Knapp and Caleb Knapp, chief men 
among them, to press the question to an immediate decision, whether 
Mr. Morgan would quit personally attending his mill (adding this, per- 
haps, to all other objections, that a white dress was not in character for 
a Congregational minister), and attend to the parish. If he would not, 
they were to strike off his official head at a blow, and provide a suc- 
cessor. Now the inventions of our day are wonderful, especially in the 
line of sharp-cutting machines, mowers, reapers, etc.; but our congrega- 
tions, I will venture to say, have invented no instrument for disposing of 
refractory ministers that can go ahead of this ecclesiastical guillotine of 
1708. Matters were now brought at once to an issue. Mr. Morgan 
decided to abide by his mill, and the committee decided to consider the 
pulpit vacant and provide a successor." He left there, and settled in 
Freehold, N. J., 1709. In September, 1728, complaints were made 
against him to the Synod that he practiced astrology, countenanced pro- 
miscuous dancing, and transgressed in drink. But these complaints 
were dismissed for want of proof. He left Freehold and went to Hope- 
well and Maidenhead. Here he was again charged with intemperance, 
and was suspended from the ministry ; but he was finally restored 
through the kindness of some of his brethren. He published many of 


his sermons and treatises on other topics. He preached a funeral ser- 
mon on the death of his son, Joseph, who was graduated at Yale in 1723, 
and died one year after. His text, Ps. cxxxvii. 1, and Job x. 2. Noth- 
ing is heard of Mr. Morgan after 1740. His name disappears from the 
minutes of Synod. In 1702-3, the people called the Rev. John Jones, 
and here we have the first regular call on the part of the people to a 
minister, and his reply in his own words, which have come down to us 
as a precious relic of nearly two hundred years ago : 

" Desember 7th, 1702, the town by a unanimis uote doth Mr. John 
Jones thanks for his labors with us the day past in ye work of ye minis- 
try, and if ye sd Mr. Jones acording to our unighted desires continued! 
in ye work aforesd three months among us, then we, ye sd town, will 
pay him ye sum of teen pounds in money or equivalent to money upon 
ye account of our furder acquaintance, he with us & we with him in 
order to settle him, ye said Mr. Jones with us, if we & he agree at ye 
three months' end." Mr. Jones, his answer : 

To my christian friends and neighbors, the inhabitants of ye town of 
Bedford, after dew salutations to you premised ; wishing grace, marcye 
and peace from God ye Father & from ye lord Jesus Christ, may be 
multipJyed towards you & yours, these lines are to intermate yt yours I 
received from ye hands of your worthy messengers, Mr. .Roberts, jus- 
tice of ye peace, Mr. Miller and Mr. John Holmes. 

I unfainedly bless God and thank you for your grateful acceptance of 
my labors in ye ministry among you yesterday, and do desire yt you and 
I may be more and more faithful in eury good work to ye glory of His 
name and our mutuall edification and comfort, and I do here furder inter- 
mate yt I have no objecktion to make to your proposalls for my incour- 
agement in ye work of Christ among you, but accept them humbly and 
thankfully, and shall by ye Lord's help, without whome I can do noth- 
ing, ingadge in your seruice, yt God as I appryhend calls me unto for a 
quarter of a year among yourselves, begging your prayers that I may 
grow in gifts and grace and yt my poor labors may be blessed for ye pro- 
moting of ye spirituall and eternall wellfair of your precious and emortal 
souls, which will be to me great joy and comfort which is in all haste, 
from your friend and servant, for Christ's sake. 

John Jones, from my study 
Bedford, Desember 7th, 1702. 

A true copy received from Mr. Jones which I received and entered. 

Zachariah Roberts, 

After the three months had expired, it seems that the people desired 
to continue Mr. Jones as their minister, as we learn from the following 
recorded correspondence : 

Feb. 15th, 1702-3, the town by a unanimous vote doth agree to give 
unto Mr. John Jones minister of ye gospell, all yt right of land and 


meadow with ye house and home loot which ye town bought of Mr. 
Ambler upon ye account yt sd. Mr. Jones settle with us in Bedford and 
carry eth' on ye work of ye ministry among us — and forty pounds a year 
for his maintenance in speshe as followeth — that is to say- — winter wheat 
at 4s. 6d. pr bushell, ry 3s. pr bushell, flax 6d. pr pound, beef one penny 
half-penny pr pound, pork . two pence half-penny pr pound. And in 
case Mr. John Jones continueth with us until he be settled and ordained 
in gospell order amongst us, then ye above sd house, land and medow 
to be his owne for him & his forever; as witness our hands thus under- 
written: Zachariah Roberts Clark, John Miller, John Holmes, sen'r, 
Cornelius Seely, John Holmes, Jr., Richard Holmes, Richard Wescott, 
Nathan Clark, Cornelius Seely, Junr., Jonathan Holmes, David Miller, 
John Wescott, David Holmes, Zachariah Roberts, Jun'r, Joseph Hunt, 
Jno. Dibbell, Thomas Howard, Joseph Palmer. 


My Good Friends : 

These are in answer to your unanimous motion made unto 
me respecting the work of the ministry to be carried on in your place ; that hav- 
ing endeavoured at Due consideration of the motion I apprehend encouridgment 
on the one hand And Discouridgment on the other ; encouridging To me Are 
my own Affection. Altho unworthy According to my poor capacity in that way 
to be serving the interest of my Dearest Lord and Master. And if I may be 
profitable to the eternall good of Precious and Immortall Soules, with which is 
to Be Added in Relation to your Place, your unanimous Agreement, And good 
Affection manifested During my Late Short Abode with you. And your une- 
versal Desires of my further Improvement in that Sacred Imployment with you; 
Discouridgeing to me is the uncertain face of things with Respect to the govern- 
ment's allowance and appropriation of my improvement freed from any Impo- 
sitions which I doe comply with, however in fine my thoughts are these, that soe 
long as I may Diserne the Providence of God going Before, Guiding and Direct- 
ing me continuing your good Affections to my Service, And Reasonable En- 
couridgement and Support, preventing and Diverting any snares or yoke uneasy 
to my conscience, your Precious and Dear Souls, To Be Dillegent in the minis- 
terial Improvement Among you. And to Banish all thoughts of the neglecting 
you, or Deserting the Spirituall work and Employment by you desired, this I 
conceive the Present needful, from your Affectionate friend and Enclined to Be 
According to Power — which (with thankful acceptance of your late Proposalls 
for my Encouragement In Christ's Service Among you) is All from your Absent 
friend And Servant for Christ's Sake— JOHN JONES. 

Given in Att a Publick 
Town Meeting at Bedford 
upon their Desires of my 
Answer ' 

Aprill ye 2d 1703 
J. J. 

November 30th, 1703, the town by a maijor vote doth make chois 
of Jonathan Miller, Nathan Clark John Holmes Jr. and Jonathan Holmes 


to take a list and make Mr. Jones his this year's rate and to gather it 
for him. 

March 5th 1704-5 the town by a maijor vote chuseth Nathan Clark, 
Colleckter to geather Mr Jones, his half year rate. 

John Jones was the eldest son of the Rev. John Jones ".a man of 
some note in the early history of the New England churches," pastor 
of the Congregational society at Fairfield, Conn. He was born at Con- 
cord in 1639 and graduated at Harvard College" after preaching there 
a short time finally went to Greenwich. 

Very little is known of the history of the Presbyterian Church in Bed- 
ford for the next sixteen years; in the meantime the church had changed 
its form of government, from that of Independent to that of Presby- 
terian. Who supplied the people with the gospel, we have not been 
able to find out; but God preserved and fostered the little band of 
Christian men and women, while they planted their feet upon the good 
sound scriptural principles of Presbyterianism : Here they stood, forti- 
fied by faith and prayer, until God heard and answered, and sent them 
from far over the sea a man after His own heart, to break unto them 
the Bread of Life. 

May 3;/, 1720. — Rev. William Tennent was invited here to preach 
the gospel. It is not certain whether he was ever regularly installed — 
probably not, as he united first with the Presbytery of Philadelphia after 
he left here — for he remained here only a short time. The church, in 
all probability, belonged at this time to the Presbytery of Long Island, 
which numbered but two or three ministers, and it was not convenient 
then, as now, to hold a meeting of the Presbytery. Mr. Tennent was 
born in Ireland in 1673, where he received a liberal education at Trin- 
ity College, Dublin, and where also he entered the ministry of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church and afterward became a dissenter and a 
Presbyterian from conviction. He was first settled in East Chester, 
New York. From there he came to Bedford, and from Bedford, after a 
little more than a year's labor, he went to Bensalem and Smithfield 
churches, in Pennsylvania. From there he accepted a call to Nesha- 
miny, 1726, where a rich man, by the name of Logan, a relative of his, 
gave him fifty acres or land, on the Neshaminy Creek, on which to lo- 
cate and carry on a school, which he had already commenced. Here 
he built a small house, about twenty feet square, mostly of logs, rudely 

a The will of Rev. John Jones Pastor of the Church of Fairfield in New England is recorded 
in that place. In it he mentions his wife Susanna, six children, John Eliphalet, four daugh- 
ters, Sarah Wilson, widow, (Ruth Jones), Rebeckah Hull, Elizabeth Hill. To his eldest son 
John Jones, he leaves part of his library to whit the works of St. Augustine, Chrysostom, 
and other Authors usually called the " Father's." Mr. Gold and Mr. Pell of Fairfield were 
appointed overseers there on Jan'ry 17th, 1G(U. Fairfield Book of Rec. vol. ii p. 5, 1G65, 1675. 



shaped, cut out of the woods from the very spot where the house was 
erected; and being skilled in the Latin language, so as to speak and 
write it almost as well as his mother tongue, he continued his school, 
and educated some of the first and most eminent ministers that ever 
adorned the American pulpit. This was called the Log College, out of 
contempt, by its enemies. Every vestige of it has long since passed 
away, but this was the germ whence sprung Princeton College, with all 
its vast influence and renown, giving character in a great measure to the 
intelligence and usefulness of the learned men in this country. Mr. 
Tennent continued till the close of life in Neshaminy, where he died 
May 6th, 1746, aged seventy three years. 

While Mr. Tennent was settled in Bedford, through the munificence 
and liberality of the people, he became possessor of some land, which 
his son Gilbert, in his last will and testament, gave to the Trustees of 
the Presbyterian Society of Bedford; for on the records of the town we 
find the following minute : 

"May 16: 1749. Gilbert Tennent of Philadelphia in the Colony of 
Pennsylvania, Gentlemen; Son and heir at law unto Rev. William Ten- 
nent, formerly of Bedford in Westchester County, in the Colony of New 
York, but lately of Neshamina, in the Colony of Pensilvania, deceased, 
for the promoting and supporting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ accord- 
ing and under the Presbyterian Discipline, in the above said Bedford, 
gave to John Holmes, John Miller and Zebediah Mills, trustees, and 
their successors, several pieces of land formerly possessed by his Rever- 
end Father for the use and support of the ministry. 


To all those people to whom, these presents shall come sendeth greeting. 
Know yee, that I, Gilbert Tennent, of Philadelphia, in Colony of Pennsylvania, 
gentleman, son and heir-in-law unto Rev. Mr. William Tennent, formerly of 
Bedford, in Westchester County in the Colony of New York, but lately of Nash- 
amina, in the Colony of Pensylvania, deceased, have for divers good reasons to 
me there unto moving, but more especially for the promoting and supporting 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to and under the Presbyterian Discipline 
in the above said Bedford, given, granted, quitted, devised, enfeofed, quit claim 
and make over unto John Holmes and John Miller, Esqs. , Zebediah Mills, yeo- 
man, all of the above said Bedford as hereafter mentioned, formerly possessed 
by my Reverend Father, viz. , one house and home lot containing by estimation 
about ten acres ; two lots in the east field containing eight acres each ; one piece 
on the south side of Mahanns River, containing by estimation twelve acres ; 
three acres on a plain called South Plain ; one acre and a quarter in a meadow 
called Theal's meadow ; one and a half acre in a meadow called David's Hill 
meadow, two acres and a half in a meadow called the great meadow, &c, &c. 

Dated 16th May, 1749. « 

a Bedford's Records, Book No. 3, p. 99. 


From time to time the Trustees have sold the land belonging to the 
parsonage, which formerly consisted of a large Tract, for the more pro- 
fitable use of the minister, until there is not more than eight or ten acres 
left at the present date, May 27, 1874." 

After Mr. Tennent, in 1721, there is no certainty as to who preached 
here until 1740, when the Rev. Robert Sturgeon was minister in Bed- 
ford. He was a native of Scotland. He left his native place under 
some embarrassment and came to New England, and was licensed by a 
council greatly to the regret of Cotton Mather, by reason of his conduct 
here and at home. He is said, in President Stile's Papers, to have been 
settled in Bedford, N. Y., for twelve years. But here seems a discrep- 
ancy in the history of those times, for the Presbytery of New Brunswick 
installed here, in 1743, the Rev. Samuel Sacket. This would hardly 
seem probable if Mr. Sturgeon still sustained any relation to the people ; 
but, says Mr. Webster, the historian, when so many other ties were sun- 
dered rudely, even this unbrotherly act may have been committed. Mr. 
Sturgeon was present in 1745, at the first meeting of the Synod of New 
York, as a member of the New York Presbytery. His name is not men- 
tioned after 1750, and where he finally settled and died we have not the 
means at hand of knowing. 

The next minister of the Presbyterian Church was Rev. Samuel 
Sacket, son of the Rev. Richard Sacket, minister of the Second Society of 
Greenwich in i7i7,who was, in all probability, installed pastor here by the 
Presbytery of New Brunswick. He acted also as a sort of missionary 
n this part of the country, and in 1747 Crumpond obtained his services 
for half of his time; he supplied Salem, also, and Peekskill. In Decem- 
ber 1749, he was released from his labors in Crumpond, now Yorktown, 
and gave the whole of his time to Bedford ; but resigned the care of the 
Church here in April 4th, 1753, the affections of the people being alienated 
from him after ten years' labor. He left here and settled at once over 
the Church of Hanover in Cortland Manor. He was dismissed from 
here on April 1st, 1760, and the next year was installed again in Crum- 
pond. The Church Missionary of Hanover, immediately wrote to Eng- 
land that the new light preacher had left them. Mr. Sacket had a great 
deal of trouble with his brethren in the Presbytery, as he differed widely 
from them in both the doctrines and government of the Church. He 
preached for twenty years in Yorktown or Crumpond, and finally died 
there June 5th, 1784. His tomb in the cemetery bears record that he 
was judicious, faithful, laborious and successful in his ministry. 

On the resignation or Mr. Sacket in 1753, the Rev. Eliphalet Ball 
was called as pastor, and was installed Dec. 31st, 1754. He created quite 


a division and difficulty in the church, and was finally dismissed Dec. 
21st, 1758. He died in Balston in 1797. After one year's vacancy, 
Dec. 13th, 1769, the Rev. Samuel Mills was installed pastor of Bedford 
Church, and remained until May 18th, 1786, when the Presbytery of 
Dutchess County met and dissolved the relation between him and the 
church, and the same day installed the Rev. John Davenport as pastor 
of the Church. But Mr. Mills, though nominally pastor of the church 
from 1769 to 1786, was absent from the charge for several years — having 
been driven from Bedford by the distressing circumstances attending the 
war. In the meantime, their former pastor, Rev. Eliphalet Ball returned 
and assumed the supply and charge of the church, and remained in this 
connection till 1784 when he was dismissed. Mr. Ball having spent four 
years at Amity, in Woodbridge, Conn., removed to Saratoga County 
New York, 1788, taking with him a part of his Bedford congregation. 
The settlement for a long time was called Ball Town, now Ballston. 

Mr. Ball was the stated supply of this church in the stormy times of 
the American Revolution, when the people were struggling for their in- 
dependence. When the old church, built in 1680, was burned to the 
ground, having stood an hundred years, and having proved amiable to 
the hearts of the people of God for a century, they stood silently by 
and saw it reduced to ashes by the British army under Lieut. Col. Tarle- 
ton. An old veteran still lingering among us, almost ninety years old, 
remembers having heard her mother say she saw the smoke of the old 
church rising to heaven, as sweet and holy incense, as the timbers 
yielded to the devouring element, though living a mile and a half distant. 
Mr. Ball saw his own house (the parsonage), his church, and the entire 
village reduced to ashes by the British troops; but he lived to see anew 
house of worship built on a more commanding spot, and no doubt on a 
larger scale; so that the latter house exceeded the former in its external 
proportions, if not in the internal manifestations of the spirit of God. 
We have reason to believe that the records of the church kept in the 
parsonage were destroyed with it, as we have no records of the church 
preserved until after peace was declared. 

The elders of the church when the second house of worship was 
built, were Ebenezer Miller, Jacob Smith, Moses St. John, and soon 
after were added Eli Tyler, Justus Harris, Peter Fleming, Stephen Bene- 
dict and Joseph Owen. 

Rev. Samuel Mills, who was nominally the pastor of the church, though 
not present continually from 1769 to 1786, was the son of Rev. Zedediah 
Mills, of Ripton. He was graduated at Yale College in 1765. In 
1782 he was preaching at Patterson (then Fredericksburg), and there he 


continued till 1789, when he joined the Anabaptists and was dismissed 
from connection with the Presbytery. He died in 18 15. 

In 1783, Capt. Lewis M. Donald gave to the Presbyterian Society 
the land on which the second house of worship was built. Here is the 
deed of gift as recorded in the town records : 


" To all christian People to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Know ye 
that I Lewis M. Donald, formerly of Bedford in Westchester Co., state of New 
York but now a Resident of Long Island, for certain causes me thereunto mov- 
ing & out of Love & Affection for the Encouragement of Virtue and the propiga- 
tion of the gospel, do hereby Bequeath & give unto the Presbyterian Society of 
Bedford in county & State abovesaid & to their Heirs & Successors forever, as 
long as they shall Remain a Society and as long as they shall stand in Want of 
a House of Public Worship or a Spot of Ground to Erect a House of Worship 
thereon, one half acre of Land, Situate & Lying & being in the Township of 
Bedford in the County & State aforesaid, Bounded (as follows. Lying on an 
Eminence above the spot of ground where the former meeting House stood) 
Easterly by the Road that Runs from the Town to Cantito, Westerly, North- 
erly and Southerly by my own Land which land was purchased of John Eliot. 
Reference being had to the original conveyance to have & to hold the above Be- 
queathed & given Spot of Land with all & singular the rights and privileges 
thereunto belonging — to the above mentioned Society, to their Heirs and Suc- 
cessors, agreeable to the above mentioned Terms and Conditions, and also I the 
said Lewis M Donald, do for myself, my Heirs and assigns, Covenant with the 
said Society, their Heirs & successors, that at and until the Ensealing of these 
presents, I am well seized of the Premesis as a good indef easeable Estate in fee 
simple and have good Right to Dispose of the same in manner & form above 
written, & the same is free of all Incumbrance whatsoever, and furthermore I, 
the said Lewis M Donald, do by these presents bind myself & my Heirs to 
Warrant and defend to the above Coveneanted premises to the said Society, 
their Heirs & successors against all claims and Demands Whatsoever, in Testi- 
mony & confirmation of which I have hereunto set my Hand & seal this the 
sixth Day of August in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred 
and Eighty & three and the Seventh year of our Independence. 

in the presence of ** 

Stephen Cornwell 

Mary Corn well." 

On the back of this old document we have this record : 

"Be it Remembered that on the 14th day of June 1792, personally appeared 
before me, Ebenezer Lockwood Esquire, first Judge of the Court of Common 
pleas in & for the County of Westchester, the within named Lewis M Donald 
the granter to the within deed of gift and acknowledged that he signed & sealed 


& Delivered the same as his free & Voluntary act & Deed and having Examined 
the same and finding no material mistake, Erasure or Interlineation Do allow 
the same to be recorded. Eben Lockwood." 

The records of the town inform us that the town meeting of 1784 and 
5 were held in the meeting house. The judges of the court of common 
pleas and the supervisors of the county held their meetings May 9th, 
1786, in the Presbyterian meeting-house in Bedford, so that we have 
conclusive proof that this second house of worship was built where it 
now stands, but which has been vacated by the people for one larger 
and more commodious, built on the ground owned by the church next 
to the parsonage. 

In 1785 the Presbyterian Society was incorporated by the name of 
the Trustees for the Presbyterian Church and Congregation of Bedford, 
to be governed in Discipline and Worship according to the Directory of 
the now established Church of Scotland. The first Trustees elected were 
Zebediah Mills, Israel Lyon and Joseph Owen. These were men, no 
doubt, who were prominent in -erecting the church in 17 89. 

The next minister called here was Rev. John Devenport, May 18th 
1786. He was born in Philippi, New Jersey, Aug. nth, 1752,- gradu- 
ated at the college of New Jersey, in 1769, and studied theology partly 
under Dr. Bellamy and partly under Dr. Buel, of East Hampton, Long 
Island. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Long Island, and served 
the congregation of Southhold as stated supply for two years. From 
Southhold he came to Bedford, and settled May 18th, 1786, and re- 
mained here a faithful and godly minister for five years. Leaving here, 
he was called to Deerfield, New Jersey, and settled there Aug. 12th, 
1795. He remained there ten years, and was dismissed on account 
of failing health. He finally became a home missionary in Western 
New York, and died in Lysander, July 13th, 182 1, an amiable and ex- 
cellent man. 

In June, 1792, Rev. Isaac Foster was settled here, and remained not 
more than two years. We are in possession of the original subscription 
list, with the amount promised by each subscriber for the support of Mr. 
Foster for one year, commencing March 2 2d, 1792, in -£. s. d., and 
here we find the names of ancestors of families still residing in Bedford 
— the Millers, Mills, Holmes, Clarks, Lyons, Benedicts, French, Ambler, 
etc. Mr. Foster remained probably two years and left, as tradition re- 
ports, with his name and that of his wife in bad repute. But we 
know nothing of the place whence he came, or whither he went, or 
where he died. Then came a most excellent. man, the Rev. Samuel 
Blatchford, who preached here for some time as stated supply, refusing 


to settle permanently. He was an Englishman, and was invited here 
by a committee appointed by the church, from Topsham, England, to 
settle here with the people in Bedford. He resigned his charge in Top- 
sham, and sailed at once for this country. The captain of the vessel on 
which he sailed was present and heard his farewell sermon in Topsham, 
and so deeply was he affected by it, that he immediately offered to take 
him and his family at a greatly reduced price, that he might have the 
benefit of his instructions during the passage; though previous to that, the 
price talked of was so much beyond Mr. Blatchford's means that he 
almost regretted having projected the enterprise. He left his native 
shores on the 19th of June, 1795, and arrived within the Hook at New 
York on the 1st day of August. Without any unnecessary delay he 
made his way to Bedford, the anticipated field of his labors, but several 
adverse circumstances occurred in connection with his arrival here which 
occasioned his disappointment and even despondency. The most morti- 
fying thing of all was, that one of the individuals with whom he had corre- 
sponded informed him that, as his arrival had been delayed beyond their 
expectations, they had actually filled the place, and a Mr. Benedict was 
engaged to supply the pulpit for one year. When Mr. Benedict, how- 
ever, came to understand the circumstances of the case, he generously 
insisted on withdrawing in favor of Mr. Blatchford; but the result was 
that they were both retained to supply alternately the congregations of 
Bedford and Poundridge. At the next meeting of the Presbytery of 
Hudson, to which the congregations then belonged, Mr. Blatchford, giv- 
ing assent to the Presbyterian Confession of Faith and form of govern- 
ment, was appointed the sole supply for Bedford, as many Sabbaths as 
convenient for him. But in 1 796 he received a call to Greenfield, Conn., 
in the church that was formerly in charge of the Rev. Dr. Dwight. In 
1 797, he was invited to the church at Stratford (now Bridgeport), to preach 
for them six months with reference to a final settlement. ■ He was finally 
installed here and remained for a number of years both as a preacher 
and a teacher in an Academy built by his special request. In 1 804 he was 
invited to take charge of the Churches of Lansingburgh and Waterford, 
in the State of New York, where he remained for seven years and died 
March 17th, 1828, in the sixty-second year of his age and the forty-first 
year of his ministry. Dr. Nott, president of Union College preached 
his funeral sermon. He was the father of seventeen children, of these, 
seven died before him ; two of his sons were ministers, one a physician, 
and one a lawyer — all respectable and useful in their professions. After 
Mr. Blatchford left, the Rev. Josiah Henderson of Martha's Vineyard, 
was called as pastor and installed over the church by the Presbytery of 


Hudson, Nov. 15th, 1798, and remained just five years. He was dis- 
missed Nov. 3d, 1803. The elders of the Church were then Moses St. 
John, Justus Harris, Ely Tyler, Peter Fleming, Joseph Owen and 
Stephen Benedict, all most venerable, pious men. Rev. Ebenezer Grant 
succeeded Rev. Mr. Henderson and was installed Sept. 20th, 1804. He 
preached here for seventeen years. He was a native of New Jersey and 
came here from the Presbytery of New Brunswick. He was a faithful, 
good man, but his labors were not abundantly blessed. At his death, the 
session of the church made this record to their deceased pastor: 

"Be it remembered that on the 6th day of September, 1821, the Rev. 
Eben. Grant, having fulfilled his ministry, closed the scene of life, and 
sleeps with his fathers, being buried in the town of Bedford, in the bury- 
ing ground in the village." 

Rev. Dr. Isaac Lewis, of Greenwich, preached his funeral sermon 
from Rev. xiv : 13. "And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, 
Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: 
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their 
works do follow them." His remains lie beneath the green sward under 
the cliff, where the ground is terraced gradually up to the overhanging 
rocks, and on the broad marble slab marking this interesting spot, the 
sculptor has engraven these words : 


to the memory of the 


17 years minister of the 

Presbyterian Church in Bedford, 

who departed this life September 6, 1821, 

A°:ed 48 Years. 

'• Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth : 

yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors ; 

and their works do follow them."— Rev. xiv : 13. 

There is not an individual member of the church living, who was pres- 
ent when Rev. Mr. Grant was installed here. Officers and private members 
have all passed away. And there is only one member of the church 
living who followed their beloved pastor to his grave and saw his remains 
deposited in their mother dust. Our fathers, where are they ? and the 
prophets, do they live forever? Only a few months elapsed before the 
church was again supplied with a pastor. April 16, 1822, the Rev. 
Jacob Green was called and installed pastor of this church, and remained 
here a faithful standard-bearer, a consistent, godly and acceptable 


preacher for twenty-seven years. Mr Green was a graduate of Rutger's 
College, N. J., and studied theology at the Princeton Theological 
Seminary, which he entered the first year it opened, in 1812, and 
remained two years. He was a native of Hanover, N. J., and was first 
settled in Suckasunny, N. J. Leaving this, his first charge, he was 
afterwards appointed a domestic missionary in Western Virginia, where he 
was married. From this field, he was called to take charge of the Pres- 
byterian church of this place, April 16, 1822. Mr. Green was the 
nephew of the venerable and distinguished Ashbel Green, one of the 
former Presidents of Princeton College, and author of some valuable 
theological works. The labors of Mr. Green in the church, as many 
now living are ready to bear witness, were greatly blessed. The church 
by his fidelity was greatly enlarged, and many new plans were adopted 
for its greater efficiency at home and in the foreign fields. He loved 
the cause of missions, and frequently had young men in his family, board- 
ing or educating them, while they were preparing for the ministry at 
home or abroad. He was greatly beloved by his brethren in the min- 
istry, and held in high esteem by the executive of all our benevolent 
boards and directors of our seminary at Princeton. God never blessed 
him with any children ; but many look up to him as their spiritual 
father, and many in the congregation bear his honored name. After 
more than a quarter of a century pastorate here, and marrying the chil- 
dren that he had baptized, and burying nearly all the congregation to 
whom he preached when he first came among them, alienation and dissatis- 
faction arose that almost broke his heart. He was dismissed by Bedford 
Presbytery from this charge, June 25, 1848. A kind providence pro- 
vided for his faithful servant. The Governor of the State of New York 
sent him an appointment, previous to his leaving Bedford, to act as 
chaplain in the State prison at Sing-Sing. Completing his appointment 
here, his health becoming impaired, he supplied a few churches in Pres- 
bytery for a short time; but the time for his departure came and he 
laid down his commission as a minister of the gospel and resigned his 
ransomed spirit to God who gave it, in Sing-Sing, September 1851, and 
was buried in their beautiful cemetery to await the glorious reward of the 
Resurrection Morn. The Venerable Dr. Spring of New York, who has 
recently gone to meet him, preached an appropriate sermon on his 
funeral occasion — his wife still survives him. 

May 1, 1848, the Rev. David Inglis was called to take charge of this 
church ; and was installed here October 26, 1848. He was a young man 
about twenty years of age, recently from Scotland, of great promise for 
usefulness, having preached a short time previous to his coming here in the 


lower part of this county. He removed to Montreal in Canada East, in 
June, 1852, from thence to Hamilton in Canada West. Here he remain- 
ed sixteen years; and in the summer of 1861, was elected by the Synod, 
to a Professorship of Theology in Knox College, Toronto, on Lake 
Ontario. In August, 1872, he received and accepted a call on the Heights 
of Brooklyn, New York, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Bethune, where he still 
remains. December 1, 1852, the Rev. David C. Lyon was called and 
installed as pastor of this church. Mr. Lyon was a native of New York, 
graduate of Union College in 1842, studied Theology at Princeton, 
and graduated in 1845, was ordained as an evangelist by the Presbytery 
of Ogdensburgh, July, 1846; preached his stated supply at Covington, 
New York, removed to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and was thence called 
to Bedford. He was dismissed from here, and was appointed a Synodi- 
cal Missionary for the State of Wisconsin. From thence, he was called 
to the Presbyterian church Winona ; but, in a few years he resigned his 
charge there, and returned to what seemed a more congenial field of 
labor — a Synodical Missionary; and there he is to-day, exploring the 
waste and destitute portions of the country. For his successor, see List 
of Pastors. 

To this church is attached a commodious parsonage and glebe of ten 

In 1 87 1 the old church " showing some marks of decay, and rendered 
inconvenient as a house of worship for its large and prosperous congre- 
gation," it was determined to rebuild on a new site. Whereupon, Mr. 
Francis A. Palmer and wife, nobly offered to build a new house of wor- 
ship and present it unincumbered to the Society. This generous offer was 
gladly accepted, and on June 29, 187 1, the corner stone of the new 
edifice was laid by Mr. Palmer, the donor, on the lot next to the parson- 
age. It was dedicated 15th of August, 1872. The new church is 
a fine gothic edifice of wood, with two towers in front and lecture 
room in the rear, costing $50,000. It contains a good toned bell 
and organ. 



Dec. 2, 1681. Rev. John Prtjdden. Resigned. 

Jan. 28, 16S8. Rev. Thomas Denham. 

Dec. 26, 1699. Rev. Joseph Mokgan. 

Dec. 7, 1702. Rev. John Jones. " 



Presbyterian Church, Bedford. 





May 3, 1720. 


William Tennett. 

Resigned, - - 1721. 

" " 1740. 



- - 1743. 

" " 1743. 


Samuel Sacket. 

Dismissed, Apl. 1, 1760 

Dec 31, 1754. 


Eliphalet Ball. 

" Dec. 21, 1758 

Dec. 13, 1769. 


Samuel Mills. 

May 18, 1786 

May 18, 1786. 


John Davenport. 

Resigned, - - 1795 

June, 1792. 


Isaac Foster 

" - - 1 — 

June, 1795. 


Samuel Blatchfoed. 

- - 1796 

Nov. 15, 1798. 


Josiah Henderson. 

Dismissed, Nov. 3, 1803 

Sept. 13, 1804. 


Ebenezee Grant. 

By death, Sept. 6. 1821 

April 16, 1822. 


Jac:>b Greene. 

Dismissed June 25, 1848 

May 1, 1848. 


Dayid Inglis. 

Resigned, - - 1851 

May, 1857- 


Peter B. Heroy. 

By death. 



J. H. Hott. 

Present Pastor. 

Bedford, in the Colonial times, constituted one of the three precincts of 
Rye parish. This was brought about by the act of the New York Assembly, 
passed 24th of March, 1693, (confirmed, A.D., 1697,) which annexed 
Bedford to the parish of Rye. It appears, however, that both Rye and 
Bedford endeavored for a time to avoid its provisions, by declaring them- 
selves separate from New York, notwithstanding the agreement of 1683, 
by which they had been surrendered to that Province. Accordingly, in 
January, 1697, they applied to be admitted to Connecticut; upon which 
that Colony concluded to receive them. But in 1700, King "William the 
Third gave his approbation and confirmation to the settlement of 1683, 
whereby they were ever included in New York. 



Under the act of 1693, the Church of England (which had been 
guaranteed her freedom under Magna Charta, upon which the common law 
is founded,) was settled throughout the Province and became therefore en- 
titled to the public encouragement, leaving the Dissenters at liberty to 
maintain a minister of their own persuasion, but obliging them to sup- 
port the clergyman settled by law. Surely Independents or Congrega- 
tionalists had no right whatever to complain of this; for, while under the 
laws of Connecticut, they taxed Churchmen without mercy and all others 
to support their established religion and blue-laws, and that too without 
representation. This, the Church in all her plenitude of power, 
never practised; for all tax-payers might be represented at parish meet- 
ings, if they so desired it. In consequence of the Church being settled 
by law, all lands set aside at public town meetings for the provision of a 
minister, all glebes and parsonages voted for their habitation and mainten- 
ance, and all meeting houses raised by public tax or distress on the 
people, unless particularly named, became vested in the ministry settled 
by common law and coeval with its existence. 06 

Pursuant to the act of assembly, a meeting of the parishioners was 
held at Rye, Feb'y 28th, 1695, when Deliverance Brown and Isaac 
Denham were chosen vestry-men for Bedford. In 17 n, this precinct 
paid towards the rectors support and poor of the parish, ^5, .5-5. 

At a town meeting held at Bedford, Oct. 4th, 1702, we have the fol- 
lowing minute: — 

"The town doth by a maiger vote desire that they may be by themselves as to 
maintain one amongst them selves e theyr desire is that they may be clear from 
y' former ackt of ye assembly of being ioyned to rye e memerinock and the 
town doth desire mr. Jacobus van Cortlandt to present theyr desirp e pertision to 
the genarall asernbly e ye town is willing to satisfie sd Cortland for his trouble. & 

In a summary account of the state of the Church in the Province of 
New York, as it was laid before the clergy convened at New York, Oct. 
5th, 1704, it is therein stated that : — "There is an Independent church 
at Bedford, where the minister designs to leave them; they are well affec- 
ted to the Church, and it is hoped when he is gone they will be in com- 
munion with her." 

It appears, however, that although many of the inhabitants might 
have been well disposed towards the Church yet the ubiquitous Zach- 

a In 16S0 the proprietors of Bedford laid out a town lot or parsonage land to be set apart 
for a minister (without naming to what particular denomination he should belong) of said 
town ; contrary to law, this land which of right belonged to a minister settled by the common 
law, was given at a town meeting in 1704 to one John Jones a violent Dissenting minister "to 
encourage him to settle and preach among them." The parsonage land seems to have em- 
braced 40 acres in 1699. 

b 1st Book of Bedford Rec, p. 10. 


ariah Roberts, Justice of the Peace and keeper of the town records, was 
determined otherwise, and stirred up the Dissenters to oppose the newly 
inducted rector, Thomas Pitchard; so that when Joseph Morgan re- 
signed, they called one John Jones — so determined were they to free 
themselves from New York in the ministry. 

From the first report issued by the venerable Propagation Society, in 
1704, we learn: — "That since their incorporation, June the 10th, 1701, 
they had appointed the Rev. Alexander Stuart, missionary at Bedford, 
with a salary of ^"50 per annum, besides two sums of ,£20 and ^15 for 

To this appointment Mr. Pritchard (who was inducted into the rectory 
cf Rye, in April, 1704) thus alludes in a letter to the Secretary: — "I per- 
ceive by the account of the Society, that one Mr. Stuart is recommen- 
ded to Bedford, and ^50 per annum allowed him; whereas Bedford is 
a part of my parish, as settled by an act of Assembly, so that he can't 
be inducted there. Hoping, therefore, that the Society will be so conde- 
scendingly pleased to allow it me, as also to send per next conveniency, 
the ^15 worth of books, of which mention is made in the account. 
The Society would do very well, if in their great wisdom they think it fit, 
to recommend Mr. Stuart to Hempstead, upon Long Island, where 
they stand very much in need of a minister." 

The following extracts from affidavits, (in the Secretary of State's 
office) show very plainly however, that every effort, stratagem and threat 
was made by the Dissenters, to prevent Mr. Pitchard's taking possession 
to this- portion of his benefice : — 

"Bexjamin Wright of Bedford in the County of Westchester, yeoman, aged 
22 years or thereabouts, being sworn before Thomas Wenham, Esq. , one of the 
gents of her Majesties Council for ye Province of New York, and one of ye 
Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature for the said Province, saith, that 
since Mr. Pitchard has been appointed minister of ye towns of Rye and Bedford 
in the County of Westchester, this deponent has endeavored to prevaile with the 
inhabitants of Bedford to encourage the said Mr. Pritchard to preach and per- 
form the duties of divine worship as used in the Church of England among 
them, whereupon the inhabitants of ye said town of Bedford became so incensed, 
that by their ill-treatment and threats, they have forced this deponent to remove 
with his family from thence, and deterred the members of ye said Church from 
speaking anything in its favor. And this deponent further saith, that one Zach- 
ariah Roberts of Bedford, a Justice of Peace in ye said County of Westchester, 
went to the inhabitants of ye said town to prevail with them to sign an instru- 
ment or writing whereby to oblige them not to pay ye said minister anything, 
and likewise that the said Zachariah Roberts at a town meeting, called by him 
for that purpose, got such an act of the town passed accordingly, which act this 
deponent saw, being presented to the view of the persons there present by ye 


said Zachariah Roberts, which town act the said Zachariah Roberts afterwards 
burnt, and this deponent believes that he cut it out of the records or books of ye 
said town. And the deponent further saith that the said Zachariah Roberts hath 
refused ( tho' a Justice of Peace) to take any affidavits in behalf of ye Church 
of England , the Queen and this Government, and when persons have offered to 
make such affidavit Is he has said he would take none against his neighbors and 
himself, and that they might tell my Lord so, &c. The rancour and malice of 
said Justice Roberts being so violent that this deponent has been told by the 
said Robert's wife, that she dares not so much as mention the name of Mr. Pitch- 
ard or any other Church of England-man for fear of her husband's passion. 
And this deponent further saith, that he hath been told by the said Justice Rob- 
ert's wife, that her husband has razed or altered the records of ye said town, by 
striking out the name of one Thomas Howard in an assignment of a bill of sale, 
and putting his own name on in the room of it. And this deponent further 
saith, that he hath been informed that there was formerly a parcel of land 
bought by the said town of Bedford, to be laid apart for a minister for the said 
town, which said parcel of land was within a year last past given at a town 
meeting to one John Jones, a Dissenting minister in the said town for an en- 
couragement to him, to settle and preach among them." 

"John Thomson of Bedford, In ye County of Westchester, gentleman, aged 
40 years and upwards being sworn before Thomas Wenham, &c, saith, that 
there having been no divine service according to ye ceremonies and usages of 
the Church of England in the said town of Bedford, the said deponent hath often 
gone to the Dissenting meeting in that town, where he hath heard one John 
Jones, as the minister of the Dissenting Congregation, preach, and hath heard him 
frequently in a very bitter and inveterate manner reflect on the present Constitu- 
tion and Government of the Church of England, and particularly this deponent 
heard him say, that he cared not for the said Church of England, and in his ser- 
mon he used, to the best of this deponent's memory, these words, viz : come out 
of her (meaning ye Church of England) my people lest ye partake of her plagues, 
comparing likewise the said Church to ye Church of Rome, and saying at other 
times, likewise in his sermon to his congregation, ye are in a dangerous govern- 
ment, where they do not pray nor serve God, and that he would preach reproba- 
tion and defiance of principalities and powers, and that ye, speaking to his con- 
gregation, may tell 'em so at York, for yt he did not care for my Lord — and 
this deponent further saith, that being one day with the said Mr. Jones at the 
house of one Zachariah Roberts, at Bedford aforesaid, this deponent heard the 
said John Jones say, he would burn the Church of England books, &c, 

The two preceding depositions were read in Council, May 8th, 1705. 
Messrs Roberts and Jones failing to give satisfactory explanations there- 
of, were bound over to answer to the Supreme Court. (Council Minutes.)* 

"In December, 1681, Samuel Barrett, Zachariah Roberts and Thomas 
Canfield were received as inhabitants. This Roberts was soon chosen 
town clerk, afterward Justice of the Peace, and for many years appears 

ct Doc. Hist, of New York, vol. iii, 933-5. 


prominent in nearly all the affairs of the town. He seems to have been 
a very dissenting Dissenter. He had a quarrel with the Rev. Thomas 
Pritchard, the first Church of England Rector, in 1705. He lived near 
David's Hill, a few rods west of where the Baptist Church now stands, 
and gave his lands along David's brook to his sons Zach. Jr. and Heze- 
kiah. What was the origin of the names of David's Hill and Brook I 
am unable to say, but they are found in the earliest records ; and in 
1 700 "the town by a maigor vote doth order and agree that ye land round 
davids hill shall be sequestered for the towns' use and for diging stones 
so it shall have a soficiant cartway and driftway round the hill and not 
to be disposed of to any pertickler parson what som euer." This shows 
the origin of a lane, still open, west of David's hill. Other votes setting 
apart sequestered lands for "ye people of the town to dig stones for 
ever," are found."* 1 

Minutes. — Upon the 21st day of June, 1705, we find the irascible dis- 
senter, Zachariah Roberts and Mary, his wife, conveying three hundred 
acres of land lying within the "Town or Liberties of Bedford," to 
" Thomas Pritchard, Missionary and Rector at Rye and Bedford, and 
Anne, his wife." Either the Supreme Court's decision, in his case for 
slander, or the prospect of handling the sum of one hundred pounds sterl- 
ing, had produced a wonderful change in our Justice of the Peace : — 

" This indenture made the 21st day of June, in the fourth year of the reign of 
our Sovereign Lady Anne, by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France 
and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, etc. — between Zachariah Roberts of 
Bedford, in the County of Westchester, in the province of New York, Esquire 
and Mary, his wife, on the one part, and Thomas Pritchard, Missionary and Rec- 
tor of Rye and Bedford, in the County and province of New Tork, and Anne, 
his wife, on the other part, Witnesseth that the said Zachariah Roberts and 
Mary, his wife, for and the consideration of the sum of £100 sterling, to them 
in hand paid already by the said Thomas Pritchard and Anne, his wife, before 
the ensealing and delivery thereof, the receipt whereof they the said Zachariah 
and Mary, doth hereby acknowledge themselves therewith to be fully satisfied 
contented and paid and therefrom and thereof and of and from all and every 
part and parcel thereof doth hereby, acquit, release, exonerate and discharge 
forever the said Thomas Pritchard and Anne Pritchard, their heirs, executors, 
administrators and assigns forever in manner and form following— all that or a 
certain parcel of upland meadow and swamp, situate lying and being within the 
town or liberties of the said Bedford, being part of that land that Coll. Van 
Cortland and the said Zachariah Roberts heretofore purchased of the Indians, 
the said parcel of lands hear by granted, being bounded on the south east corner 
by a young white oak tree marked with green or eight notches or crosses, and 
thence running one hundred and ten rods northward along the Indian path which 

a Address of Joseph Barrett, July 4, 1S76. 


leads to Musscoota and thence runs westward on the said path in length one 
hundred rods, south in breadth at each end one hundred and ten rods amounting 
to three hundred acres be it more or less, being bounded eastward by the great 
Indian path, southward by the Town's new purchase, so called, and on the east- 
ward and northward by the pond of the river also one sixth one 
and thirtieth part or one head right in the new purchase of Bedford, so called, 
and also one head right of land in new purchase, so called, which John Samp- 
son formerly purchased from Richard Holmes and conveyed or assigned after- 
ward to the said Zachariah Roberts together with all woods and underwoods, 
etc., etc. 

Sealed and delivered \ 
in presence of ) 




The Rev. George Muirson in one of his earliest reports to the venera- 
ble Propagation Society says : — " Rye is a large parish, the towns are 
far distant, the people were some Quakers, but chiefly Presbyterians and 
Independents. They were violently set against our Church ; but now, 
blessed be God, they comply heartily. I find that catechising on the 
week days in the remote towns and frequent visiting is of great service." 

The quota furnished by this division towards the rector's tax in 1725, 
was ;£i6, S2. Mr. Wetmore writing to the Society in February, 1728, 
says : — " That there are three meeting houses in the parish, one at Bed- 
ford, built for and used by the Presbyterians, &c. They have had a 
Presbyterian minister, they gave him a house and farm to work upon, 
and ^40 per annum ; but finding it not sufficient to support him with a 
numerous family, he has left them, and they have now settled another 
young man to whom they give the same allowance. There are at Bed- 
ford about eight or ten families of the Church, and the rest Presbyterians 
or Independents." 

"The Dissenting" teachers "officiate without qualifying themselves 
according to the Act of Toleration, so that the people are supposed to 
do and say what they please about religion, under a notion, that the laws 
of England relating to religion don't extend to the Plantations." In 
1 73 1, he writes : — " That the people of Bedford, who are most rigid and 
severe of all, came very generally to Church, when I was last among 
them, and many that never before were at Church." Again in 1744, he 
informs the Society : — " That at Bedford and North Castle there were 
four hundred families belonging to the cure, &c. " The same year the 
parishioners addressed the following letter to the Society : — 

a No. 4 of Bedford Town Books, p. 495. 



(extract. ) 

' ' Province of New York. Bedford, March 6th, 1744. 
Rky. Sik, 

The parish of Rye includes the large town of Rye, the town of Maniaroneck, 
the manor of Scarsdale, and a precinct called White Plains, besides Bedford and 
North Castle, in which two last places are near four hunched families, and no 
teacher of any sort in North Castle, but a silly Quaker- woman, and at Bedford 
one of the most enthusiastic Methodists. Mr. Wetmore comes amongst us but 
once in two months, and very few of us can go to the parish church at Rye, 
many living twenty miles distant, and most of us twelve or fourteen miles ; so 
that for the most part there is very little face of religion to be seen amongst us, 
and our children are apt to fall in with the customs of those amongst us that 
have little or no religion, and spend the Lord's day in diversions and follies, 
which we cannot prevent tho' we much dislike. Mr. Wetmore, our minister, 
freelj T consents we should endeavour to procure another as an assistant to him, 
and we are willing to contribute as far as we are able. 

Reverend Sir, 
Your most obed't and humble servants, 

Lewis McDonald, 
Daniel Smith, 
Akthte Smith."* 

In answer to this application, the Rev. Joseph Lamson, A.M., w'as 
appointed assistant to Mr. "Wetmore in officiating to the inhabitants of 
Bedford, North Castle and Ridgefield. In his first report to the Society, 
he writes : — "That he officiates by turns at these three places to full 
congregations." But his income proved too small for his support, and 
he removed by the Society's permission to Fairfield in 1747. In Mr. 
Wetmore's report for 1753, he acquaints the Society, "that his congre- 
gation at Bedford is large and flourishing, and that the disposition of 
those that oppose the interest of the Church in that place seems changed 
for the better. The New Light minister is removed from Bedford, and 
there are some hopes of the people uniting with North Castle towards 
supporting a minister in the Holy Orders of our Church, to officiate 
alternately among them." And it clearly appears from his subsequent 
reports to the Society, that this precinct continued, upon the whole, in 
a state of gradual improvement until the time of his death, which took 
place in May, 1760. The following inscription occurs on a monument, 
to the memory of his wife, Althea, to be seen in the old burying 
ground at Fairfield, Conn. : 

a New York, MSS. from archives at Fulhani, (Hawks.) 




Wife of the Rev. Joseph Lamson, 

and daughter of the Re-vr James Wetmore, 

the Rector of Rye, in the New York Province. 

Who departed this life ye 8th of Feb'y, 1766, 

Aged 44 Years. 

Their daughter Anne was also interred at Fairfield, where there is a 
monument to her memory. 

In the Spring of 1762 the precincts of Bedford and Northcastle were 
visited by the Rev. George Dibble, Rector of St. John's church, Stam- 
ford and St. George Talbot, Esq. JHere the former preached and 
baptized several children. 01 At this time there appear to have been 
several families professors of the Church of England. Mr. Talbot subse- 
quently devised in trust, the sum of six hundred pounds, (for the use 
and benefit of the churches of Northcastle and Bedford,) this amount 
appears to have been in possession of Lewis Macdonald and others, 
trustees under the will of Mr. Talbot. 

" From letters received by Dr. Auchmuty, Rector of Trinity church, 
and Mr. Livingston (executor of the late Mr. St. George Talbot, ) 
dated December 8th, 1769, it appears that the heirs at law leave no 
method untried to defeat the purposes of Mr. Talbot's will; and, by eva- 
sive practices in law, the cause is still undetermined." 

In 177 1, Mr. John Livingston informs the Propagation Society, that 
with regard to Mr. Talbot's will the attorneys have judged it expedient 
to come to an agreement with the heirs of Mr. Talbot, by which the 
executors should pay them ^1300, in full for their claim and demand 
on the real and personal estate. It will be seen, however, that the 
Church did not receive the legacy until the year 1803. 

Mr. Punderson, who succeeded Mr. Whitmdre in 1762, died Anno 
Domini 1764, and was followed by the Rev. Ephriam Avery in 1765. 

From this period nothing worthy of especial importance appears in 
the Society's Reports relative to Bedford. Mr. Avery's death took place 
soon after the exciting scenes of the Revolution had commenced, and 
during the subsequent years the whole parish of Rye suffered considera- 
bly from the confusion that attended the Revolutionary war. The Par- 
ochial Church was destroyed by fire, and the parishoners dispersed in 
every direction. 

Upon the 19th of April, 1789 the present parish was incorporated 

a See Parochial Registers of St. John's church, Stamford. 


under the title of " The Trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the Township of Bedford and Northcastle " a In consequence of an act 
passed for the relief of the Protestant Episcopal Church, on the 17th of 
March, 1795, this Church was again incorporated under the name and 
title of "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the united towns of Bed- 
ford and Newcastle — the church at Newcastle to continue by the regular 
name of St. George's church." Charles Haight of Newcastle, and William 
Miller, Esq., of Bedford, church wardens; Samuel Raymond, Gabriel 
Smith, David Haight, James McDonald, Marmaduke Forster, Gilbert 
Martin, Nicholas Haight and Samuel Smith, vestrymen. The Rev. The- 
odocious Bartow appears to have been rector at the time of election. b 
Upon the 26th of Sept. 1791, we find James McDonald of Bedford, 
(a vestry-man of this church) leasing to the trustees of St. Peter's church 
Westchester," all that tract of land lying in the township of Bedford, be- 
ing the farm where John Banks, Junior, formerly lived, containing two 
hundred and four acres," "also that lot of land bounded North and 
East by land belonging to Lewis McDonald, South by parsonage land 
belonging to the Presbyterian Society, and West by the highway, con- 
taining about four acres, &c, known by the name of the Court-house 
lot, in the town or Bedford."" No further proceedings appear to have 
been had in this case, probably the lease was never properly executed. 
Mr. Bartow appears to have been officiating here in 1803. At a vestry 
meeting held on the 12th November, 1796, it was ordered "that William 
Miller, Esq., be empowered to commence and carry on a suit against 
Philip J. Livingston for money left by St. George Talbot to the churches 
at Bedford and Newcastle." At a meeting of the vestry held on the 3rd 
of March, 1803, "Mr. Miller informed the board that the money be- 
queathed to the united churches by the late St. George Talbot, had 
been recovered by a judgment obtained in the Supreme Court against 
Philip J. Livingston, and the said money after deducting charges will 
probably amount to twenty-five hundred dollars." The Vestry at the 
same meeting resolved to purchase a certain house and forty acres of 
land in Bedford, at the price of sixteen hundred and twenty-five dollars, 
for a glebe and parsonage ; the purchase was subsequently made, and a 
new parsonage erected thereon in 1822. In 1804 Trinity church, New 
York, liberally endowed the united churches of Bedford and Newcastle 
with the sum of one thousand dollars; al60 in 1808 the further sum of 
one hundred and fifty dollars. 

a Incorporation of religious Societies Liber, a., p. 12 
b '• " " " " a., p. 64. 

c Copied from original document in possession of the Clerk of the vestry of St. Peter's 
church, Westchester. 


At a vestry meeting holden on the 8th Dec er , 1S06, it was resolved 
"that the residue of the bequest of St. George Talbot be appropriated 
towards defraying the cost of the building a church in Bedford." The 
Hon ble John Jay, Chief Justice of the United States, took an active part 
in the construction of this edifice and was a constant attendant upon the 
services held therein until the year of his death, 1829. 

In 1804 it was resolved by the Vestry, "expedient to call and settle 
a minister without further delay • the Episcopalians of North Salem and 
Stephentown joined with Bedford in endeavoring to effect it. It was 
agreed between them, " that the minister should perform divine service 
in the different towns of Bedford, New Castle, North Castle and Stephen- 
town, so often as should be in proportion to the amount of their annual 
subscriptions." In all these places Churchmen manifested the sincerity 
of their professions by subscribing liberally to the support of a minister. 

Upon the 30th of July, 1804, the Vestry called the Rev. George Stre- 
beck as rector of the United Churches. He officiated in Bedford and 
its vicinity from August, 1804, to March, 1805, when he resigned, and 
accepted the rectorship of St. Stephen's church, New York. At a 
vestry meeting held on the 8th of December, 1806, it was resolved, 
" that the residue of the bequest of St. George Talbot be appropriated 
towards defraying the cost of building a church at Bedford." 

In 1809 the Rev. Nathan Felch was called as minister of the united 
parishes. The next year he reported to the Diocesan Convention : — 

"That the Episcopal Church in Bedford is in a very flourishing state; 
the congregation is numerous, respectable and devout: an attachment 
to all the rites and forms of the Church is continually increasing among 
them ; and as this attachment increases, so veneration for, and delight 
in sober, rational and scriptural piety and virtue increases." 

Mr. Felch resigned his charge in 1813, and was succeeded by the 
Rev. George Wells, A.M., in 181 6, for whose successors, see list of 

St. Matthew's church is situated in the northern part of a small scat- 
tered hamlet, about half a mile north of the village of Bedford. It is a 
neat structure of brick, erected in 1807, and consecrated the same year 
by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Moore, D.D. It has been recently thoroughly 
repaired, and the interior somewhat remodelled. 

The communion silver was the united gift of Mrs Banyar and Anne 
Jay, (daughters of the late Hon. John Jay, Chief Justice of the United 
States) on the 29th of October, 18 10. The service books were presented 
by the late Mrs. Ann Raymond, of Bedford. The bell was purchased by 
subscription in 1874. To this church is attached a rectory and glebe. 



St. Matthew's Church, Bedford, erected A. D. 1S07, 



1704, Rev. Alexander Stuart, A. M., Clericus, resig. 
18th June, 1745, Rev. Joseph Lamson, A. M., Clericus, resig. 

1796, Rev. Theodosius Bartow, Presb., resig. 
30th July, 1804, Rev. George Steebeck, Presb. resig. 

1809, Rev. Nathan Felch, Deacon, resig. 
16th June, 1816, Rev. George Wellee, A. M., Deacon, resig. 

1819, Rev. Samuel Nioholls, Presb., resig. 
12th Aug., 1838, Rev. Alfred Partridge, Presb., resig. 

1855, Rev. Edward Brenton Boggs, D.D., Presb., resig. 

1867, Rev. Lea Luquer, Presb., present incumbent. 

The burying ground adjoining the church contains memorials to the 
families of the Jays, Amblers, Guions, Olmsteads, Collyers, Raymonds, 
Parks, Gardeners, Banks and McNultys. 

Number of families in 1853, belonging to the parish, 50. Number of 
souls, 200. In 1875, Number of families, 47. 



1728, Flint Dwight, £15 per anuni. 

1745, William Sturgeon, B. A. 

Number of Catechists in 1853, 4; and Catechumens, 30. 
1875,— " 30. 

To the parish is attached St. Mary's church in the middle patent of 
North Castle, which was incorporated upon the 29th of December, 1851, 
Benjamin Smith and Samuel Brown, church wardens. William Henry 


Hobby, William Downs, Samuel Lounsbury, Oliver B. Finch, Henry 
Hobby, Joseph H. Hobby, David M. Johnson and Henry Downes, 
vestrymen. The Church edifice, erected in 1853 at a cost of $1600, 
was consecrated to the service of Almighty God, on the 2 2d of Septem- 
ber of that year, by the late Rt. Rev. Jonathan M. Wainwright, D.D., 
LL.D. At present, services are performed here by the rector of Bed- 
ford, every Sunday afternoon. The bell was presented by St. Matthew's 
church, Bedford. 

Within the ajoining Hamlet near the Episcopal church, at the junc- 
tion of the Sing Sing and Bedford roads stands the Baptist church. 
The Baptist Society was first organized Sept. 22d, 1798; seven of its 
members having received legal letters of dismission from the Baptist 
church in Stamford, to form a new Society under the pastoral charge of 
Elder Jones. On the 8th of May, 1802, Elder Ezra Fountain was 
elected pastor of the church, an office which he held with great accep- 
tance for thirty-five years. Mr. Fountain was descended from the 
Fountains of Stockinghami, Devonshire, England. The first member of 
the family who emigrated to America about 1650, was a merchant of 
opulence, who lived to the age of a hundred years. In the church of 
Mysborough in the county of Devon, England, are several monuments 
to members of this family; among others is one to the memory of Sir 
John Fountain, of whom there are some fragmentary sketches extant. 
The emigrant left two sons, the eldest of whom was Moses, a man re- 
markable for his piety, and who also lived to over a hundred years; the 
youngest son Moses, had two sons, Moses and Mathew, who died with- 
out issue at the age of one hundred and four, the latter was a British 
officer of some distinction previous to the Revolutionary war, but re- 
moved from Bedford to Eastchester with the refugees and there died 
from the bite of a fox, aged fifty-six. He left four sons, Stephen, Aaron, 
Ezra and James, besides two daughters. . Ezra the third son, the pas- 
tor of this church was born, on the 20th of May, 1743, and died Oct. 
25th, 1840, and was interred on his own farm at present occupied by 
John A. Miller in this town where a monument has been erected to his 
memory containing the following epitaph written by himself. 

" A dying preacher . I have been, 
To dying sinners such as you ; 
A dying preacher I remain, 
To all who come my grave to view." 

It may be truly said of this good man "Though dead he yet speak- 


By his wife, who was a Tyler, he had first, James, M.D., of the New 
York University, the father of Hosea, M. D., of Somers; Elias, Jabez, 
Husted, C. Horton and Ezra James. The second son was Hosea, and 
thirdly the late Tyler Fountain of Peekskill. 

Mr. Fountain was succeeded in the pastoral charge by Elder Charles 
H. Underhill, who continued for two years. Their successors have 
been Samuel Covel, and Elder Nathan Reed. 

Union Academy of Bedford occupies a prominent situation South- 
east of the Baptist church. Its principal is Alexander G. Reynolds. 

Near the Hamlet are situated the residences of William P. Wood- 
cock, and Milton Robertson, Esq. To the North-east lies the Hook 
farm, the property of Francis A. Palmer, Esq., (formerly belonging to 
Col. James Holmes). Upon the 5th of April, 1774, James Smith and 
Mary, his wife, sold to James Holmes, "all that messuage lying in Bed- 
ford called the Hook, containing seventy-three acres. 

Col. James Holmes was the son of John and Jemima Holmes ; his 
father John Holmes was a respectable farmer, a man of extensive real 
and personal property, a large proportion of which descended to him 
from his father John Holmes, who emigrated to this country from 
Beverly, Yorkshire, in England, about the year 1660, and was one of 
the original proprietors and settlers of this town. John Holmes, 
father of the said Col. James Holmes, held many civil and military 
appointments. He was for many years a town clerk, Justice of the 
Peace, and Captain of the Militia, which appointments he held till the 
time of his death. 

During the French war between France and Great Britian, in 1757-8, 
Col. James Holmes volunteered in the service of his country, and 
was in the great and destructive battle under the command of Gen- 
eral Abercrombie, in which were nineteen hundred men killed and 
wounded. After the conquest of Canada he returned to Bedford. 

Upon the commencement of hostilities between America and Great 
Britain, he was appointed by the New York Convention one of a com- 
mittee of three, viz. : Col. James Van Courtland, Capt. Montgomery, 
(afterwards Gen. Montgomery,) and himself, to proceed to examine the 
heights about Kingsbridge, and report where it would be advisable to 
fortify. They performed this duty and reported satisfactorily. The same 
convention ordered four regiments to be raised. The first was given to 
Alexander M'Dougal, the second to G. Van Schaick, the third to James 
Clinton, and the fourth to James Holmes. These regiments were im- 
mediately advanced to the northward. In 1777, he retired from the 
service of his country, owing to certain circumstances which had tended 


to dampen his military ambition, and returned to his farm. In the 
spring of 1778, he was arrested by order of the committee of public 
safety, and conveyed to Bedford. 

He subsequently accepted the appointment of Lieut. Colonel of the 
corps of West Chester County Refugees, in the British service ; in this 
corps he remained till the end of the war. Colonel James Holmes died 
at New Haven, July, 1824, leaving issue by his wife Tamar, two daugh- 
ters • Tamar, who married James Ronalds, father of William R. Ronalds, 
Esq., of New York; and Sally, the wife of Jeremiah Lounsberry of this 

The village of Bedford was burnt July 2d, 1779, during the Revolu- 
tionary war by a party of British Light Horse under the command of 
Lieut. Col. Banastre Tarleton" on their route to Fairfield, Conn., and 
much valuable property destroyed in its immediate vicinity. But the in- 
habitants remained firmly attached to the interests of their country. 
Mrs. Nancy Sarles testified Oct. 12th, 1846 that, in the Revolutionary 
war, her father lived in Bedford a mile and a half from the village on 
the road to White Plains. His name was Samuel Lyon and he was 
an active Whig and Committee man. When the British burnt Bed- 
ford they advanced by the upper or West road and entered after 
daylight. The party consisted of several hundred composed of leather- 
caps and refugees all of whom were mounted. The refugees did all 
the mischief, plundering and burning, while the leather-caps kept guard, 
then finally retreated by the White Plains road. The militia were all out in 
the direction of Stamford except a picket guard which the enemy at^ 
tacked and dispersed killing one man. When they arrived at our house 
they were constantly asking for bread and we gave them all we had, they 
then set fire to the house and retreated. The cry was " Fire the house 
boys and be off." I endeavored to extinguish the fire, but it had made 
too much headway — just then a party of American militia came to our 
assistance and helped to save some things that were in the house. Th^> 
leather caps, or regulars (who I think were Hessians) came here in ortfer; 
to support the refugees. Col. Holmes' house, occupied by Benjamin 
Hayes, was also burnt on this occasion. 6 Capt. David Miller of Bedford 
aged eighty, Oct. 31st, 1846, says, " My father, when Bedford was burnt, 
was a militia captain and lay with his company east of the village — he • 
had occupied a house on the Stamford road a little south of Mr, Jonathan 

a Col. Tarleton, afterwards General Sir Banastre Tarleton, Bart, born in Liverpool, Aug. 
21st, 1754 was intended for ye law, commanded ye advanced guard of the patrols which made 
General Lee prisoner. Stirring activity made him popular and he was M. P for Liverpool 22 
years— was married but died childless Jan'y 23d, 1833. Gents Mag. Part I. p 273. 

6 Extracts from " Life of James Holmes, Esq.," printed in 1815. 


Miller's but, fearful of a surprise, he moved up further into a neighboring 
wood He afterwards found that the refugees, when they entered Bed- 
ford made directly for his house to take him prisoner, so well were they 
informed of his whereabouts. The British party were mostly refugees 
and commanded by Col. James Holmes who belonged to Bedford and 
was formerly an officer in the American service, but thinking himself ill- 
used in not being promoted, when others, less deserving than he, were, 
had gone over to the British and received the commission of Lieutenant 
Colonel. All the houses in Bedford were burnt except one or two, be- 
longing to persons friendly to the royal cause. Holmes, after the war, 
returned here. Stephen Ambler on this occasion was too late in escap- 
ing from the enemy ; trusting too much to the fleetness of his horse, he 
was overtaken and killed. 

Oct. 31st, 1S46, Jonathan Mills of Bedford aged eighty-three says, that 
on the day Pound Ridge was taken, " I was out driving cattle for my 
father and neighbors, to a place of safety but unfortunately I conducted 
them right into the hands of the enemy whom I met on my return ; they 
took all the cattle, but after driving them for some distance let them go, 
so that we obtained them again. CoL Holmes, I think, commanded the 
party who burned Bedford, and directed his own house to be fired first — 
well knowing that he would be paid for it. There were one or two com- 
panies of militia posted to guard the roads east of the village ; a portion 
of the refugees attempted to reach Middle Patent for the purpose of 
burning the houses of some Whigs there who were obnoxious to the 
enemy, but when they came to Mahanus River about half a mile from 
the village on the Middle Patent road they found the bridges destroyed 
and the streams too deep and muddy to cross." Oct. 29th, 1S46, Silas 
Sutherland of Middle Patent testifies that when Bedford was burnt they 
fired on their retreat the following houses : Israel Lyons', John Ferris', 
Peter Lyons', Andrew Sniffins', and a house occupied by Ichabod Ogden 
where the militia had quarters, and which was afterwards owned and 
occupied as a tavern by John Smith. 

Nov. 2d, 1846, Mrs. Patty Holmes, aged ninety-four, says: "We 
were kept in constant state of alarm in Bedford during the Revolution- 
ary war. Frequent reports were abroad that the Refugees were at the 
village ; when Pound Ridge was burnt, news arrived that the enemy 
was coming. An old man named Andrew Miller took his gun to bed 
with him ; the same night the refugees arrived and carried him off, gun 
and all, to New York — where for sometime he was kept in the sugar- 
house, till finally his daughters went down and procured his discharge. 
When the enemy returned from Pound Ridge they burned the house 


owned by Col. Holmes, who had gone below to join the British some- 
time before. I think that the meeting house also was burnt the same 
day, namely, Friday, July 2nd, when they burnt Bedford nine days 
afterwards, a widow woman begged them to spare her house, to which 
they consented — but finding a brace of pistols up stairs, they fired it. 
The French army lay in Bedford one night, but the cavalry went on with- 
out halting. We were all much pleased to see them, as they came for 
our protection. Col. Holmes was a clever man, very spirited in speak- 
ing, he could not forget his treatment for advancing money to pay his 
men, which was not refunded, or not paid without great difficulty." 

Nov. 2nd, 1846, James Fountain testified, " I am in my seventy-ninth 
year and remember the battle of White Plains. One Stephen Baxter, from 
North Salem, who had received a commission of Captain, was here with the 
refugees at the burning of Bedford. I think they were all refugees that 
burnt Bedford, about a hundred or a hundred and fifty in number. I saw 
them pass, as they advanced by the North Castle church road. Benjamin 
Hayes kept a tavern at this time in Bedford and his house (owned by 
Col. Holmes) was for some reason burnt." Col. Armand the Marquis 
de la Rouerie was for some time stationed at North Castle and Bed- 

On the 15th of July, 1779, General Heath having ascertained that 
the enemy's shipping had gone down towards New York, moved his 
troops and took a strong position between Ridgfield and Bedford, send- 
ing out patrols of horse and foot on all the roads. a 

On the evening of the 29th of December, 1780, (writes General 
Heath,) a party of the enemy from Delancey's corps, consisting of about 
one hundred infantry and fifty horse, came up to North Castle where 
after a short halt they proceed towards Bedford new purchase. Capt. 
Pritchard who was posted at Bedford with a company of Continental 
troops, and some militia, immediately advanced towards them, attacked 
their van, who retreated, as did their main body. Capt. Pritchard pur- 
sued them as far as Young's. It was said that one of the enemy was 
killed and several wounded w r ho were carried off in a wagon. Four 
oxen, and between thirty and forty sheep were re-taken, and eight or 
ten head of cattle were driven off; but the captain sustained no injury." 

Upon this affair, James Lyon, of Bedford, aged eighty-seven, Nov. 
17th, 1846, says: "I belonged to Capt. Moseman's company of militia 
and went out with him on several occasions in pursuit of refugees and 
cow-boys, who had stolen our cattle and sheep. Once, when Capt 

a Heath's Memoirs, page 2T0. 
& Heath's Memoirs, p. 268. 


Pritchard was with us, we pursued them to the vicinity of Clarke's Cor- 
ner. a We had a severe skirmish and recovered part of the cattle. 

Isaac Daniels, of Chestnut Ridge, aged eighty-six, Oct. 28th, 1846, 
relates : " I served for two years under Capt. Marcus Moseman (I be- 
lieve), in Col. Thomas' regiment. I was in several skirmishes. One of 
the Kipp's, of De Lancets Corps, came up to Bedford and drove off a 
great number of cattle ; Capt. Moseman's Company and other volun- 
teers pursued ; I think Moseman accompanied us, but am not certain ; 
he was reported to be rather timorous ; Ephraim Knowlton was our 
Lieutenant, and a good officer ; he was with us at this time ; we pursued 
on the road leading to North Castle church, overtook the refugees five 
or six miles below, when we fired upon Kipp's party, and they aban- 
doned the cattle or most of them; we followed on very fiercely, and were 
soon after joined by Lieutenant James and three privates of Sheldon's 
regiment ; all at once, as we gained the top of an eminence, we came 
upon the main body of the enemy's horse, who were waiting for us over 
the crest of the hill ; they instantly charged. Lieutenant James was 
badly wounded in the arms and head, and taken prisoner (shortly after 
paroled); one horseman was dismounted, joined us and escaped; but the 
other two were taken ; Thadeus Seely, a private in our Company, was 
wounded and taken prisoner; none of our company were killed, and no 
others wounded ; they did not pursue us very far ; we re-took about 
fifty head of cattle and escaped by taking to the woods ; there were 
about fifty or sixty of us beside Sheldon's Horse ; Capt. Pritchard was 
not with us at that time. On the morning of the 16th, 1781 " (continues 
the same authority), " the enemy made an incursion from Morrisania, 
towards Bedford, and took Lieutenants Carpenter, Wright and Peacock, 
and five other inhabitants, prisoners ; burnt five houses, plundered and 
stripp'ed several other inhabitants, and returned; they were pursued by 
Capt. Pritchard, but could not be overtaken." 

" Some personal incidents are worthy of being recorded here. David 
Williams, one of the captors of Major Andre, was a citizen of this town. 
We are glad to see that the bones of this good man have been removed 
from Livingston ville, in Schoharie County, N. Y., to Rensselaerville, 
Albany County, where it is proposed to mark the place by a suitable 
monument. Another citizen of Bedford, whose name is given in a note 
to one of the late editions of Cooper's "Spy" as Elisha H. — and it has 
been suggested that the " H" probably stands for Haines or Holmes — 

a Clarke's Corners were about six miles from New Castle church, formed by the intersec- 
tion of the Tarrvtown and Bedford roads : consists of three corners, viz.: the White Plains 
and Pine's Bridge having joined the Bedford and Tarrytown roads half a mile or more north. 
—McDonald MSS., in possession of Geo. H. iloore, Esq. 


is said to have been the most important secret agent employed by Wash- 
ington during the war." 

On one occasion the American officer commanding at Bedford, where 
there was a depot of provisions, received a note signed E. H, warning 
him that an attack was about being made by the British forces. The 
officer sent the paper to Washington who was stationed near the Hud- 
son, who returned it with the endorsement, " Believe whatever E. H. 
may tell you. George Washington." This paper fell into the hands of a 
British officer who sent it to Sir Henry Clinton. Sir Henry sent for " E. H." 
and after some conversation on other topics showed him his own note 
with Washington's endorsement, and said, "whose handwriting is that?" 
The man replied, "It is that of Elisha Hadden, the spy whom you 
hanged yesterday." The calm self-possession of the man quieted Sir 
Henry's suspicions ; and E. H. left the presence of the British Com- 
mander, and never visited him again. It was from a citizen of Bedford, 
Mr. Jay, that Fenimore Cooper, during one his visits to our town, learned 
the simple facts in the career of Enoch Crosby, upon which our great 
novelist based his " Harvey Birch, the spy of the neutral ground." a 
romance which has been translated into the languages of modern Europe, 
and also, it is said, into Turkish and Arabic. 

His informant had been a member of the New York Committee of 
Safety, in the beginning of the revolution ; and Enoch Crosby had been 
the most skillful and faithful of his agents, passing with the Americans 
as a British Spy and incurring constant and great dangers. This mem- 
ber of the Committee of Safety hawing been appointed to a foreign mis- 
sion, reported to Congress before his departure the important sendees 
rendered by this agent, and a sum of money was voted as a compensation. 
When in a secret interview at night he was offered the gold, he declined 
it with the remark, " that it- was not for gold that he had served his 
country. Thus it appears that Bedford did her part in her heroic days. & 

A short distance only from the middle Patent road are some singular 
rocks, one of which from its peculiar shape is called the "Turtle Rock." 
Looking beneath this curious freak of nature, a beautiful view may be 
had of the Cohaumag hills, while far off in the West the hill Nonama 
rises in' great splendor. The hilly road West of the village, leading to 
Mount Kisco, or "Bedford New purchase," passes "Lounsberry Hill" 
(laid down in General Washington's military map as "Knapp's Hill") 
the top of which is said to be the highest ground in Westchester County. 
From the summit of this hill the prospect is uncommonly extensive and 

a Heath's 31 emoirs, page 274. 

6 Address of HonUe Jolm Jay, July 7th, 1ST6.— The Recorder, Katonan. 


open. The whole country looks like a map unfolded to the sight ; the 
innumerable enclosures mark a rich land thriving under the hand of the 

One of the most prominent objects in the immediate vicinity of Bed- 
ford village, is the round hill called Aspetong, celebrated for its beauti- 
ful views of the surrounding country; its summit affords a favorite resort 
for parties during the summer season. a 

A short time since Joseph Reynolds of Bedford, while hunting on the 
Aspen Ledge, saw and killed a beautiful wildcat ; two others escaped. 

The road proceeding north from the village descends into the valley of 
the Beaver dam, (Cisqua,) watered by a beautiful stream of the same 
name, which rises in the adjoining town of Poundridge. In its progress 
to the Croton, the Beaver dam is fed by the waters of broad and muddy 
brooks. By the process of gauging, in 1833, (at a fair minimum.) the 
Beaver dam and Broad Brook yielded four million nine hundred and 
sixty- three thousand four hundred and eighty gallons per diem. 6 

The former stream appears to have been in a peculiar manner the 
haunt of the beaver ; hence the origin of the name Beaver dam. This 
timid animal, (says Van der Donck,) " always constructed its dwellings 
over running streams, having apertures in the lower stories which com- 
municated with the water, from which they could more easily re- 
treat under water to places of safety which they have always prepared 
near their houses; these consist of a hollow or hole entwining under 
water from the side of the stream whereon their house is erected, and 
adjoining under the bank into which they retreat on the approach of 
danger, wherein they seem to be so safe and secure that no person can 
molest them. Eighty thousand beavers (the same authority asserts,) were 

killed annually, during his residence of nine years in the New Nether- 

The beaver's favorite food was the bark of the willow, birch and ma- 
ple trees, which still nourish on the banks of the Cisqua, (Beaver dam). 
Rising above the banks of this stream on the west is an extensive ridge 
called the "Deer's Delight." 

It appears that the old road laid out to the vineyard purchase in 1739, 
"extended north from Harris's mill at the west side of Cantatoe ridge 
on the east side of the "Deer's Delight," and so through to the pur- 
chase. d 

a 11th May, 1T72, John Farnam conveys to James Holmes a lot of land lying in Bedford 
near a place called Aspetong. 
b Report of Water Commissioners. 

c Van der Donk's Hist. N. N. New York Hist, Sec. collect. 
d Book of Co. Roads, Co. Clerk's office, lib. L. A. D. 1728. 




Deer must have been very numerous here in 1656, for the same 
authority just quoted says, "the land abounded with them every where, 
and their numbers appear to remain undiminished ; we seldom pass 
through the fields without seeing deer more or less, and we frequently 
see them in herds; there are also white bucks and does, and others of a 
black colour. The Indians aver that the haunts of the white deer are 
much frequented by the common deer, and that those of the black 
species are not frequented by the common deer." s 

The wolf appears to have abounded in proportion to the other wild 
game. So destructive had this ferocious animal become in 1694 that 
the town of Bedford offered " twenty shillings bounty for the killing of 

In the northern part of the town, called " Cantatoe," the place of 
Katoona's residence, is situated the "Jay homestead;" for four genera- 
tions the residence and estate of the Jay family, and descending to them 
from their ancestor Jacobus Van Cortlandt who purchased it of the 
Indian Sachem Katoonah, in 1703. Here the Hon. John Jay spent the 
latter part of his life. The house is delightfully situated on a gentle 
slope backed with high and luxuriant woods. The surrounding scenery is 
exceedingly picturesque, particularly on the west overlooking the Pepe- 
mighting or Kisco, and Ketchawan or Croton valleys, and the hills 
bordering on the Hudson — among which is the bold Dunderberg, looking, 
from this spot, like an inverted bread tray; a sunset view from the 
ground west of the house is uncommonly grand, and once seen can 
never be forgotten. The interior of the mansion, which is elegantly 
furnished, displays on its walls a large and valuable collection of cabinet 
pictures, and family and historical portraits ; among them are the fol- 
lowing, viz: In the hall, George Washington, by Trumbull;' John 
Adams, by Trumbull ; Thomas Jefferson, after Stewart by Ames ; James 
Madison, by the same ; De Witt Clinton, John Jay, as Chief Justice ; 
Judge William Jay, by Huntington ; John Jay, by the same ; President 
Dwight, of Yale College ; Stephen Peloquir, Mayor of Bristol, who mar- 
ried Frances daughter of Pierre Jay. 

In the parlors : Augustus Jay, Esq., born at La Rochelle in France, 
1665; came to New York, 1697 — in evening and full dress — copy from 
an old French picture ; the late Mr. William Jay, by West; and the late 
Judge William Jay as a young man, by Vanderlyn. 

The dining-room contains : Judge Egbert Benson, by Stewart ; 
Stephen Van Renselaer, Lt. Governor, by Stewart ; Alexander Hamil- 

a Van der Doak's N. N. 


ton, by Trumbull ; William Livingston, Governor of New Jersey as a 
boy ; Judge William Jay, by Wenzleu ; Mrs. John Jay, (Sarah Living- 
ston) wife of Chief Justice John Jay and daughter of William Livingston, 
Governor of New Jersey, with her children William and Sarah, pastel by 
Pine; Mrs. H. G. Chapman and child, by .Stone; the late H. W. Field, 
by Nims. Busts of Chief Justice (after a model of Carracio), by Frazee. a 

Judge William Jay, by Kunzte, and Peter Augustus Jay — in the 
Library — a photograph of Sir Benjamin West — an unfinished painting of 
the Negotiation of the Treaty of Peace at Versailles in 1783, with por- 
traits of Jay, Adams, DeFranklin, Temple Franklin, Secretary of the 
Commission, and Henry Laurens of South Carolina. 

Pastel of Josiah Field, and various engravings and portraits of the 
family — including Mrs. Maria Banyer and Miss Anne Jay. Among other 
relics preserved here is the Philipse Family Bible (which came through 
the Van Cortlandts, Jacobus Van Cortlandt having married Eva 
Philipse) printed at Amsterdam 1657 by Paulus Aertsz Van Ravesteyn, 
and the Book of Common Prayer and administration of the Sacraments, 
&c, printed by John Besket of London, M. D. ccxxiv. Among the 
entries in the former are the following, "29 Sept., 1698. William 3 rd by 
letters patent granted to Augustus Jay all the rights and privileges of a 
native born English subject." 

" 4th March, 1686, the Governor of New York granted to Augustus 
Jay letters of denization for the Colony." " Augustus Jay was admitted 
to the freedom of the city of New York by the Mayor and Aldermen on 
the 27th of January, 1700." "Augustus Jay 1726 — born March 23, 
1665 — died 10th of March 1751." In the west end of the house, now 
used as the library, expired the venerable Chief Justice Jay, on Tuesday 
the 17th day of May, 1829. "The Hon. John Jay, LL D., was the 
eighth child of Peter Jay, of Rye, and Mary Van Cortlandt ; he was 
born on the 12th of December, 1745, and in 1753 was put to school at 
■New Rochelle. He was graduated at King's College, New York, in 
1764, after which he studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1768, and 
acted as secretary to the Commissioner for running the boundary line 
between New York and New Jersey. He was a prominent member of 
the Congress of 1774, and of that of 1775, and in 1776 assisted in fram- 
ing the Government of New York. He was elected Chief Justice of 
that State in May, 1777, and resigned that office in 1779, when elected 
President of Congress. In September, 1779, he was appointed Minister 
to Spain ; was one of the signers to the definitive treaty of Peace at 

a Frazee executed several busts of Jay from the model of Carracio for the Supreme 
Court, one of wuica was ordered by Congress. 



Paris in September, 1783; and returned to America in 1784, having 
been previously appointed Secretary of State for Foreign affairs. He 
became Chief Justice of the United States in 1789, and in 1794 was 
appointed Minister to England; was Governor of the State of New 
York from 1795 to 1801, after which he retired from public life."" 

A writer truthfully says, " He was one of the wisest statesmen and 
purest patriots of the days of the war of Independence, and our country 
has no purer name inscribed on the list of her worthies." The Supreme 
Court of the State being in session in New York, at the time of his 
death, the gentlemen of the bar held a meeting and adopted the fol- 
lowing resolutions : " Resolved that the members of this bar are im- 
pressed with deep grief upon the decease of their illustrious brother 
John Jay. They find however, a consolation in the reflection, that his 
conduct through a long and useful life, has given a lustre to our profes- 
sion, and to this bar; and that while his character for private virtues 
and public worth has justly endeared him to the nation, his patriotism, 
his great talents as a statesman, and his great acquirements as a jurist, 
his eminent purity as a Christian, and his probity as a man, all unite to 
present him to the public as an example whose radiance points to the 
attainment of excellence." 

The memory of this great and good man will be embalmed in the 
heart of every true friend of liberty, virtue and the honor and prosperity 
of the State of New York and her civil institutions, and as long as the 
history of this State and Nation shall be known and read. h 


One of the purest of American statesmen was John Jay. He was a patriot in 
the highest sense of the much-abused word. But he was more than a statesman, 
and was gifted with a higher virtue than patriotism, for he was a Christian. A 
paragraph in a letter written to his wife when about retiring from the governor- 
ship of New York, discloses the nature of the man. "A few years," he writes, 
"will put us all in the dust, and then it will be of more importance to me to 
have governed myself than to have governed a State." 

The self-sacrificing character of Mr. Jay's patriotism was exhibited by his 
acceptance of the office of Minister to England to negotiate the treaty of 1794. 
The bitter feelings between Great Britain and the United States, created by the 
Revolutionary "War, were so strong as to interfere with the commercial pros- 
perity of the youthful nation. Mr. Jay, among other statesmen, recognized that 
it was necessary that a treaty should be made with England. Urging his views 
upon some friends, he said that so intense was the popular hostility towards the 
English, that the Minister who should negotiate the treaty would be an object 

a Doc. Col. Hist, of N. Y., vol. viii: p. 469. 

b Ssammonds Political Hist, of N. Y., Vol. ii, p. 310. 


of public execration. A gentleman remarked that he had good reasons for 
thinking Mr. Jay would be selected by President Washington for that posi- 
tion. "If my country demands the sacrifice,'' replied Mr. Jay, "I am ready." 
Mr. Jay was appointed. He went to England, negotiated the treaty, which, 
though much opposed, was at last ratified by the Senate. But Mr. Jay was for 
years an object of strong popular hostility.— The Boston True Flag, text June 
24, 1876. 

In the same room died on Thursday, Oct. 14, 1858, his second son, 
Judge William Jay. He was born June 16, 1779, graduated at Yale 
College in 1807, and studied law at Albany; but having injured his 
eyes by intense study, relinquished his practice and retired to Bedford. 
Upon the death of his father in 1829, he acquired the Bedford estate. 
He was for several years one of the Judges of the Court of Common 
Pleas for Westchester County. His life was principally devoted to 
philanthropic labors, and he went to his rest like a stock of corn, fully 

By his wife Augusta McVicker, he had one son the Hon. John Jay, 
and five daughters, Anna, who married the Rev. Lewis P. W. Balch, 
D.D., Cannon of Montreal Cathedral; Maria who married John F. 
Butterworth; Sarah Louisa, who married Alexander M. Brenan, M.D.,» 
and Eliza and Augusta the successive wives of Henry Edward Peilew, 

Surrounding the house are ornamental grounds tastefully laid out in 
flower-beds and shrubbery, and to the left is a fine kitchen garden and 

Opposite the homestead in the Katonah wood is situated the hand- 
some stone residence of Henry Edward Peilew, Esq. (grandson of Ed- 
mund Edward Peilew, Viscount Exmouth, England,) brother-in-law 
of the Hon. John Jay. 

A little East of the Jay homestead, flows Spruce Creek, the former 
division line between the "Vineyards" and the "Dibble" purchases. 

North and East of Cantetoe lies the valley of the Peppeneghek or 
Cross River, celebrated for its picturesque beauty ; on this romantic 
stream is situated the Jay Mills, now owned by the Hoyt brothers. 

Katonah is a thriving village in the North-west corner of Bedford, sit- 
uated near the junction of the Croton and Cross Rivers. Upon the 
latter stream are located several mills and manufactories. The Cross 
River or Peppeneghek is said to discharge at the rate of nine millions 
one hundred and forty thousand four hundred gallons per diem. 

The settlement contains two churches, a Methodist Episcopal and 


Presbyterian, Rail Road and Telegraph station, Post Office and several 

The Methodist Episcopal church which is a new edifice, was erected 
in 1878, and was incorporated on the 25th of January, 1837; Norman 
William Miller, Walter P. Lyon, Joseph Wilson, Joel W. Miller and 
Noah Smith, Trustees." 

The Peppeneghek and the Cisqua intersect a mile to the eastward. 
Previous to the erection of the Croton dam, the shad fish annually as- 
cended the river to Katonah or Wittlockville, a distance of nearly thirty 
miles from the Hudson ; trout are taken here in great abundance. The 
several tributaries of the Kitchawan or Croton in this town supply a 
great abundance of mill seats. There is also a small stream that runs 
north from the village of Bedford to Long Island Sound (to which we 
have already alluded) called Myanos River. The mills are numerous 
and more than equal to the wants of the inhabitants. The general sur- 
face of Bedford is elevated, though broken by small hills, and valleys, has 
very little of waste ground. .The arable, pasture, and meadow lands, are 
in very just proportion for a good farming country, and the whole is well 
watered by springs, brooks, and rivulets, the latter of a good size for 
mills; the summits of the hills afford many extensive and interesting pros- 
pects, but the hills are stony and hard to till, though they yield good 
crops of grain, grass, and all the common fruits." 

In the vicinity of Bedford sulphuret of iron, and the oxide of iron 
occur in beds of sand, also quartz, and slate are found in numerous 

a Eeligious Soc. Lib. B. 69. 



This town formerly belonged to the great manor of Cortlandt, which 
also comprehended the present townships of North Salem, Somers, York- 
town and a large portion of Lewisboro'. The name itself is derived 
from the the ancient family of the Van Cortlandts', the mesne Lords, 
and first grantees from the Indians. Under the Mohegans or "enchanted 
wolf tribe," Cortlandt-town appears to have been divided between the 
two chiefs of Sachus and Ketchawany — the former of whom exercised 
jurisdiction over the lands of Weshqua, Canopus, Wenneebus, Appamagh- 
pogh and Meahagh, a territory extending from the south side of Ver- 
planck's Point to St. Anthony's nose in the Highlands, whilst the latter 
held authority over the lands of Kitchawan, lying south of Verplanck's 
Point, including Senasqua neck, (Teller's Point,) and the small island of 

The Indian villages in their order were, first, Kitchawonk, situated 
near the mouth of the Croton, so-called from the original name of the 
river, viz: "Kitchawan," a term which is descriptive of "a large and 
swift-flowing current." Croton, the present name of the same stream, is 
said to have been adopted from an illustrious Sachem of that name who 
resided here at an early period. 

" The first name of importance above the island (remarks Mr. School- 
craft) is Croton — a name of classic sound, but unquestionably derived 
from the Indian, though a corruption of the original, and not originally 
applied by them to the River. 

In a deed dated 1685, which is quoted by Judge Benson, the river is 
called Kitchawan. " Croton as stated by the same authority is a cor- 


ruption of the name of a chief who lived and exercised his authority at 
the mouth of this stream. It is clearly a derivative from Kenotin or 
Knoten, or as it is oftener used (without the prefix), Noten, meaning 
in either case the wind or a tempest. It is a man's name still common 
in the west and north." a 

The Indian castle of Kitchawan (according to tradition) occupied a 
commanding position on the neck proper, overlooking the Croton and 
Haverstraw bays, a little northwest of the manor house. This site was 
chosen for the purpose of protecting the fisheries, and overawing the 
neighboring tribes. A variety of Indian weapons are occasionally found 
in the neighborhood, consisting principally of battle-axes, javelins and 
arrow heads. The Indian burying ground is situated near the entrance 
of Senasqua Neck, (Teller's Point.) The sachem of Kitchawan in 1641, 
was Metsewakes. 

"Upon the 10th July, 1641, appeared before the counsel, the follow- 
ing chiefs summoned by Oratan, chief of Hackinkesacky, agreeably to 
the conversation with him on the 27th of May, viz., Sowanare, chief of 
Weckquaeskek, and Metsewakes, chief of Ketchawangh, alias Slauper 
Haven ; they expressed a desire to live on friendly terms with the Dutch, 
and to detach themselves from the Esopus Indians." 6 

Upon the 22d of April, 1643, the chief of Hackinkesacky was dele- 
gated by the Indians of Kitchawan to conclude a peace with the 
Director General." 

In 1644, Mamaronack was chief of the Indians residing on the Kitch- 



A. D. 1645, Aepjen chief sachem of the Mohegans signed a treaty of 
peace in behalf of the Kitchawanghs. e 

On the 15th of September, 1663, occurs the name of Meghtesewakes, 
chief of Kitchawan; and in 1699, that of Sackama Wicker. ^ 

The next Indian village north of the Croton, was Sachus or Sackhoes, 
which stood near the site of the present village of Peekskill. The chief 
of this place in the year 1682, was Sirham. 

The early Dutch maps place the villages of Keskisko, (a name that 
partly survives in the Kisco River,) Pasquashic, and Noapain south of 
the Highlands. 

The Wappinger Indians occupied the region of St. Anthony's nose 
and the Kittatenny mountains, (Highlands.)^ 

a Pro. N. Y. Hist. Soc. 1S44, 100. 

6 Alb. Rec. 

c Alb. Rec. ii. 220. 

d O'Gallaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 302. 

e N. Y. Hi3t. Soc. Coll. N. Ser. vol. i. 276. 

/ Moultons's History of New York, p. 221. 


The Indians are said to have been very numerous in and around Peek- 
skill as late as 1740, especially during the fishing seasons. 01 

At an early period, Teller's Point or neck passed from the native 
Indian proprietors to William and Sarah Teller. " The point of pen- 
insula, (says Judge Benson,) the northern chop of the bay or entrance 
into the Croton River, the Skippers called Sarah's Point, the Indians 
gave it to William and Sarah Teller, husband and wife, and she survived 
him." 6 

On the 3d of June, 1682, occurs a sale from the Indian proprietors, Ackernak, 
Jangheor, Nawakies, Wattatane, Kaegara, Pewengen, Askawanes, Siggeres, 
Owarrewie, Arronjsack, Serram, Geckawock, Garhanck, Awoejhackias, Arma- 
wain, Ogkan, Nennafarick, Wapeken, Sepaacktan and Awemaracktow, to 
Cornelius Van Burgurn, consisting of all that parcel neck or point of land, with the 
marsh, meadow ground or valley thereto adjoining and belonging, situate, lying, 
and being on the east side of the North or Hudson's river, over against the Ver- 
drida Hooke, commonly called and known by the name of Slaupers Haven, and 
by the Indians Navish, the meadow being by the Indians called Senasqua, being 
bounded by the said river and a certain creek called or known to the Indians by 
the name of Tanrackan and Sepperak, and divided from the main land by cer- 
tain trees marked by the Indians, together with half the said creek, &c, &c, 
for and in consideration of a certain sum or quantity of Wampum and divers 
other goods, paid by Cornelius Van Burgurn. c 

It is certain that sometime prior to 1748, Sarah Teller held the neck 
as tenant at sufferance under the Van Cortlandt family. A branch of 
the Teller family was early connected with the Van Cortlandt's by 
marriage, Andrew Teller in 1671, having married Sophia, daughter 
of the Right 'Hor.. Orloff Stevenson Van Cortlandt. 

The common ancestor of the Tellers was a Dutch clergyman of some 
distinction in the New Netherlands. 

Upon the 30th of July, 1667, occurs an act of the English Governor 
and his council, concerning William Teller and his children, wherein 
the payment of eighty-five beavers is enforced as his daughter's share 
besides other portions to his remaining children ; one of these was a son 
named Andries.^ 

The names of Jacob Teller en zyn huys vrow (and his wife) occur in 
the church books of Sleepy Hollow. 

Upon the 14th of July, 1800, the heirs of William Teller, conveyed 
part of the neck to Elijah Morgan of Cortlandt-town ; 6th of November, 

a This is stated on the authority of Mr. Mandville of PeetsMll. 

b Benson's Mem. of the State of N. Y., 47. 

c Co. Eec. Lib, A. p. 182. 

d Surrogate's office, New YorK, 30. 


1804, Elijah Morgan, Jr., and Ann his wife, re-sold the same to Robert 
Underhill; on the 16th of August, 1804, Robert McCord and wife con- 
veyed another portion of the neck to Robert Underhill ; upon the death 
of the latter individual, the whole became vested in his two sons, the 
present proprietors of Croton Point. 

In 1683, the Hon. Stephanus Van Cortlandt, purchased of the native 
Indian proprietors the territory of Meahagh, (Verplanck's Point,) and 
the lands east thereof called Appamaghpogh, as follows : 


To all Christian people to whom this present writing shall come, Pewemine, 
Oskewans, Turharn, Querawighint, Siecham, Isighers and Prackises, all Indians, 
true and rightful owners and proprietors of the land hereinafter mentioned as for 
themselves and the rest of their relations send, greeting, know te that for and 
in consideration of the sum of twelve pounds in wampum and several other mer- 
chandises, as hy a schedule hereunto annexed more at large, doth and may appear 
to them the same Indians in hand paid before the ensealing and delivering thereof, 
receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and for other divers causes and consid- 
erations, they, the said Indians have granted, bargained and sold, aliened, en- 
feofted and confirmed, and by these presents do fully, clearly aud absolutely 
grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeof, and confirm unto Stephanus Van Cortlandt of 
the city of New York, merchant, his heirs or assignees forever, all that certain 
tract or parcel of land situate, lying or being on the east side of the Hudson 
River, at the entering of the Highlands, just over against Haverstraw, lying on 
the south side of the creek called Tammoesis, and from thence easterly in the 
woods to the head of the creek called Kewightahagh, and so along said creek 
northerly to the Hudson River, and thence westerly to the utmost point of the 
said tract of land, and from thence southerly along said Hudson River to the 
aforenamed creek, Tammoesis, which said tract or parcel of land known by 
the Indians by the name of Appamaghpogh and Meahagh, including all the 
lands, soils, meadows and woods within the circuit and bounds aforesaid, to- 
gether with all, and singular the trees, timber-woods, under-woods, swamps, 
runs, marshes, meadows, rivulets, streams, creeks, waters, lakes, pools, ponds, 
fishing, hunting, fowling and whatsoever else to the said tract or parcel of land 
within the bounds and limits aforesaid, is belonging or in any wise appertaining 
without any restriction whatsoever, to have and to hold the said parcel or 
tract of land, and all and singular and other the premises and every part and par- 
cel thereof unto the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt. his heirs and assignees, to the 
sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof of him, the said Stephanus his 
heirs and assignees forever, and they, the said Indians do for themselves, their 
heirs and every of them consent, promise and engage, that the said Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt his heirs and assignees shall and may from henceforth and for- 
ever lawfully, peaceably and quietly have, hold, possess and enjoy the said 
tract or parcel of land, and all and singular the other the premises with their 
appurtenances without either let, hindrance, disturbance or interruption of or 
by them, the said Indian proprietors, or their heirs or any other person or per- 



sons claiming, or that shall hereafter, shall or may claim, by from under them 
or either of them, and that they shall and will upon the reasonable request and 
demand made by the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, give and deliver peaceable 
and quiet possession of the said tract and parcel of land and premises, or of 
some part thereof and in the room of the whole under such person or persons, 
as by the said Stephanus Van Courtlandt shall be appointed to receive the same, 
in witness whereof the said Indians Pewemind, Oskewans, Turham, Querawig- 
hint, Siecham, Isighers, and Prackises, the Indian owners and proprietors afore- 
said, have hereunto set their hands and seals in New York, this twenty- fourth 
day of August, in the thirty-fifth year of his majesties reign, Anno Domini. 

Signed and delivered in presence 
of us, Francis Rambolett, Gulian 

This is the mark of Q 

This in the marke of d 


The mark of W 

This is the mark of B 

The mark of ^ 

The mark of O 

The mark of K 


A schedule or list of goods paid by Stephanus Van Cortlandt, in his deed ex- 

8 guns, 

9 blankets, 
5 coats, 

14 fathom of Duffels, 
14 kettles, 

40 fathoms of black "Wampum, 
80 fathoms of white Wampum, 
2 ankers of rum, 

5 half vats of strong beer, 

6 earthen jugs, 

12 shirts, 

50 pounds of powder, 

30 bars of lead, 

18 hatchets, 

18 hoes, 

14 knives, 

a small coat, 

6 fathom of stroud water cloth, 

6 pair of stockings, 

6 tobacco boxes. 

This purchase was afterwards confirmed to Stephanus Van Cortlandt? 
to be holden of his majesty and his successors in common soccage ac- 
cording to the tenure of East Greenwich in England, the patentee 
paying yearly therefore (as a quit rent,) two bushels of good winter 

The following year Thomas Dekay, Richard Abramsen, Jacob Ab- 
ramsen, Sybout Harche, Jacob Harche and Samuel Dekay, "obtained 
liberty and license to purchase of the Indians, (each of them,) three 
hundred acres of land, lying and being in the high lands by the north of 


Stephen Van Cortlandt's land, which is called by the Indians, Wenebees, 
lying between two creeks, over against the Thunder hill, (Dunderburgh,) 
on the east side of the river, &c. Signed Thomas Dongan." a 

The same year Thomas Dekay, Richard Abramsen, Jacob Abramsen, 
Sybout Harche, Jacob Harche, and Samuel Dekay, purchased of the 
Indians, Sirham, Sachem of Sachus, Pannskapham, Charrish, Askewaen, 
Pewinenien and Sickham, eighteen hundred acres of land, "situate on 
the highlands north of Stephanus Van Cortlandt's land, which is called 
by the Indians Wenebees, &c." 

The above grantees on the 21st of April, 1685, made a second pur- 
chase of land from the same native proprietors consisting of: 

"All that tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being on Hudson's River 
at a certain place called by the Indians Sachus, and stretching by the north 
side of Mr. Stephanus Van Cortlandt's land to the said river to another creek, 
and so runs up said creek in several courses to a certain tree marked with R, 
and from the 3aid marked tree southerly by marked trees all along to a marsh 
to another marked tree, marked R, west, up to the aforesaid creek which lies 
by said Mr. Stephanus Van Cortlandt's land, &c, &c." 

Here followeth the schedule or particular of wampum and goods paid for the 
said land. 
100 fathoms of white wampum, 15 bottles, 

60 guilders of silver, 15 pair of stockings, 

8 fowling pieces, 12 coopers knives, 

8 blankets, 5 bullet moulds, 

10 match coats, 15 axes, 

8 brass kettles, 15 hoes, 

6 stroud water coats, 40 knives, 

50 yards of stroud water, 2 rolls of tobacco, 

15 shirts, 3 lead ladles, 

40 bars of lead, 100 Indian awls, & 

15 earthon jugs cont. 50 lbs powder, 20 tobacco boxes, 
1000 fish hooks. 200 needles, 

3 pistols, 2 swords, 

100 tobacco pipes, 8 coats, 

1 anker of rum, 4 half vats of beer. 

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Brant Schuyler, Levinius V. 
Schayck, George Brewerton. 

The mark of kj Weskhewen Sachem, 
The mark of \A Tupaine, 
The mark of N Amterone, 
The mark of W Shaphame." 

a Co. Rec. Lib. A. fol. 189, date of license, 6th of March, 16S4. The principal part of the 
above purchase is now covered by the farm of John McCoy. 
b Used in purforating wampum. 
c Book of Pat. Alb. vol. v. 87. 


A third sale from Sirham, Indian sachem of Sachus, and other Indians, 
occurs on the 25th of June, 1685, to Jacobus Dekay, &c. 


"Of all that tract or parcel of land, situate and being on the east side of Hud- 
son's River, commonly called and known by the name of Wishqua, beginning 
at the great creek, called by the Indians John Peake's creek, it being in the 
mouth of the west side of the said creek and so running up along the said river 
to another small creek and fall, including all fresh and salt meadows within the 
said bounds, together with all, &c, &c, for the value of four hundred guilders, 

The Indian territory of Sachus was subsequently confirmed by Royal 
Patent on the 23d day of December, 1685, Teunis Dekay and his as- 
sociates in the following manner : 


Thomas Dongan, Lieut. Governor and Vice Admiral of New York, and its 
dependencies, under his majesty James the Second, by the grace of God, of Eng- 
land, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, defender of the faith, &c, Supreme 
Lord and proprietor of the colony and province of New York, and its depend- 
encies in America, &c. To all whom this shall come, sendeth greeting ; where- 
as, Teunis Dekay, Richard Abramsen, Jacob Abramsen, Sybout Harchie, Jacob 
Harchie and Samuel Dekay, all of the city of New York, have by virtue of my 
order lycense, bearing date the 6th day of March, Anno Domini, 1684-5, accord- 
ing to the law and practice of the said Province, for a valuable consideration 
purchased of the natives and Indian owners, their right, title, interest, clayme 
and demand of, in and to all that certain tract or parcel of land herein after 
mentioned and expressed, for their own proper uses and behoofs as by the 
Indian deed of sale, bearing date the 21st day of April, A. D., 1685, remaining 
upon record in the secretary's office of the said province may more fully and at 
large appear ; and whereas Samuel Dekay, one of the purchasers is since 
deceased, and Jacobus Dekay his father hath since his decease desired 
that his said purchase and share may be confirmed unto his grand sonne, Jacob 
Dekay, to him, his heirs and assigns for ever. Now know ye that by virtue of 
my commission and authority devised unto me, and power in me residing, in 
consideration of the quit rent, hereinafter received, I have given, granted, ratified 
and confirmed, and by these presents do give, grant, ratify and confirm unto the 
said Teunis Dekay, Richard Abramsen, Jacob Abramsen, Sybout Harchie, Jacob 
Harchie, and Jacobus Dekay, jun., all that certain tract or parcel of land situate, 
lying, and being on Hudson's river, at a certain place called by the Indians 
Sachus, and stretching by the north side of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, his land 
up to the said river, to another creek, and so runs up said creek in several 
courses, to a certain tree marked with T R, and from the said marked trees 
southerly by marked trees all along to a marsh, to another tree marked with T 

a Alb. Book of Pat. Vol. v. 


R, west of the aforesaid creek which lyes by said Stephanus Van Cortlandt's 
land, including all the meadows both fresh and salt within said bounds contain- 
ing in all 1800 acres, or thereabouts, together with all, and all manner of rivers, 
rivulets, runs, streams, waters, feedings, pastures, woods, underwoods, trees, 
swamps, moors, marshes, meadows, easments, profits and commodities, fishing, 
fowling, hunting and hawking, and all other appurtenances whatsoever, to the 
said tract or parcel of land within the bounds and limits, aforesaid belonging, or 
in any wise appertaining to have and to hold, the said tract or parcel of land, 
and all and singular other the premises unto the said Teunis Dekay, &c. , their 
heirs and assigns for ever, to their sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof, 
of them the said Tenuis Dekay, &c, and their heirs and assigns forever to be 
holdeu in free and common soccage according to the tenure of East Greenwich 
in the County of Kent in his majesties kingdom of England, yielding, rendering, 
and paying therefor, every year, for the use of our Sovereign Lord the King's 
majesty, his heirs or successors in such affair or affairs, as by him or them 
shall be appointed to receive the same, ten bushels of good winter merchantable 
wheat, yearly, on the five and twentieth day of March, at the city of New York. 
And for the better preserving the title of the above recited parcel of land and 
premises. I have caused these presents to be entered in the secretary's office, of 
this province. Given under my hand and sealed with the seal of the province 
at Fort James in New York, the 23d day of December, A. D., 1685. « 

Thomas Doxgan. 

The above patent, commonly called " Ryck's Patent," passed by pur- 
chase to Hercules Lent, as appears by certain releases, the first bearing 
date 20th of April, 17 15, wherein Jacob Abramsen, of ye upper Yonckers 
one of the original patentees, for the consideration of ^"150, confirms 
Hercules Lent, yeoman, in all his right, title and interest in ye patent 
called Ryck Abramsen's Patent. b 

The Rikers or Rycke's Lents and Krankheyts " were of common 
origin in Germany and located at a very remote period in Lower Saxony 
where they enjoyed a state of allodial independence, at that day regarded 
as constituting nobility. They there possessed the estate, or manor of 
Rycken, from which they took their name, then written Von Rycken, 
indicating its territorial derivation." " Hans Von Rycken, the lord of 
the manor, and a valiant knight with his cousin, Melchior Von Rycken, 
who lived in Holland, took part in the first crusade to the Holy Land, 
in 1096, heading 800 crusaders in the army. of Walter the Penniless. 
Melchior lived to return, but Hans perished in that ill-fated expedition." 
" In time the descendants of Melchior Van Rycken extended themselves 
from Holland to the region of the Rhine and into Switzerland." " In 
the Spanish war Capt. Jacob Simons de Rycke, a wealthy corn merchant 
of Amsterdam, and a warm partizan of the Prince of Orange, dis- 

a Alb. Book of Pat. Lib. &. fol. 114 to HI, Co. Rec Lib. I. p. 145. 
b Co. Rec, Lib., E., 157. 


tinguished himself by his military services." His son Jacob de Rycke 
was probably the father of '' Abraham de Rycke who emigrated to this 
country in 1638, as he received in that year an allotment of land from 
Gov. Kieft, for which he afterward took out a patent, dated Aug. 8 
1640. He died in 1689, leaving his farm by will to his son Abraham. 
By his wife Girtie, daughter of Hendrick Hermensen, he had nine chil- 
dren — Ryck Abramsen of Cortland manor who adopted the name of 
Lent; 2, Jacob, born 1640, died young; 3, Jacob born 1643, united 
with his brother Ryck in purchashing Ryck's patent. This grant was 
indeed in the manual limits; 4, Hendrick, born 1646, died young; 5, 
Mary, born 1649, married Sibout H. Krankheyt of Cortlandt manor; 
6, John, born 1651, his descendants are to be found in New Jersey ; 7 
Aletta, born 1653, married Capt. John Harmense of the manor of 
Cortlandt; 8, Abraham, born 1655 ; 9, Hendrick, born 1662." 

" Ryck Abramsen Lent, eldest son of Abraham Rycken, married 
Catrina, daughter of Harek Siboutsen, and in 1685 with others pur- 
chased of the Indians an extensive tract of land, north of Cortlandt, 
called "Sachus." He settled upon this tract, which thence took the 
name of Ryck's Patent. He served as au elder in the Sleepy Hollow 
church; was much respected and died at a good old age. His will 
was made March 30, 1720, and was proved March 28, 1723. His 
children were Elizabeth, marr. Thomas Heyert, Abraham, Ryck, Harek, 
Mayant, marr. Thos. Benson and Catharine, marr. to Joseph Jones. " a 

On the 29th of December, 1729, Sybout Harchie Krankhyte, Her- 
cules Johnse Krankhyte, and Jacobus Krankhyte, release to Hercules 
Lent " a certain tract of land on the east side of Hudson's river, at a 
certain place called by the Indians, Sachus, and is bounded on the north, 
east, and south, by the manor of Cortlandt, and on the west by Hudson's 
river, aforesaid containing 1800 acres, reference being had to a certain 
patent granted by Thos. Dongan, &c, &c." & The following receipts are 
for quit rents, due on the Ryck Patent : . 

Received of Mr. Philip Van Cortlandt, three hundred and eighty 
bushels of wheat for thirty-eight years quit rent, due to his majesty from 
the within patent, and in full for the said time. Witness my hand this 
28th day of December, 1726. 

Archibald Kennedy, Rec. Gen. 

Received of Hercules Lent, twenty bushels of wheat for two years 
quarter upon the within tracts in full to the 25 th of March last. Witness 
my hand this second of May, 1729. 

Archibald Kennedy, Rec. Gen. 

a Annals of Newtown by James Rtker, Junr. 

6 The original document is in the possession of Mr. Nathl. Bedle, of PeekstUL 


In A.D. 1766, Hercules Lent, of Ryck's Patent, bequeathed his 
lands by will to his children in the following order: 

"Item. I give and devise to my son Jacob, all that farm he now 
lives on, containing 350 acres, lying and being, &c, on the south-east 
part of a tract of land formerly granted to my father, Ryck Abramsen 
Lent and others, which is commonly known by the name of Ryck's 
Patent, and by the Indian name of Sackhoes, to have and to hold, &c. 
To my son Hendrick, all that farm I now live on, containing 350 acres, 
in the south-west part of Ryck's Patent. 

To my son Abraham, all that land he lives on, containing 350 acres, 
adjoining to Hudson's river, and on the south side of the aforesaid de- 
vised to my son Hendrick. 

To my grandchildren, Abram Lamb, Jane Lamb, Ira Lamb, Rachel 
Lamb, and Rachel, wife of James Lamb, (the father and mother of the 
said children,) all that part of my lands and meadows situate, lying and 
being in Orange county, by Hudson's river, known by the name of 
Stony Point. To my daughter Catharine, wife of Hendrick de Ronde, 
lands by Stony Point." ft 

The descendants of the testator are still numerous in Cortlandt-town. 
Hercules Lent, a great grandson of the patentee, holds a portion of the 
patrimonial estate and occupies the family homestead. On the west 
bank of the Annsville creek was situated the property of John Krankhyte, 
consisting of 300 acres. 

The lands of Kitchawan, in this town, were conveyed by the native 
Indians in 16S6, to Thomas Dongan, Captain General, and Governor- 
in-chief, and Vice Admiral in, and over, the Province of New York and 
territories depending thereon, in America, under his majesty James II, 
by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, 
defender of the faith, &c. 

To all whom these presents shall come, sehdeth greeting: Whereas, Emigent, 
Askewans, Penarand, and Tagehkint, natives and principal owners of the tract 
of land commonly called or known by the Indian name of Ketchtawong, did in 
and by their certain deed or writing, under their hands and seals, bearing date 
the day of August now last past, for the consideration therein mentioned, grant, 
bargain, sell, alien, enfoeffe and confirme unto me the said Thomas Dongan, 
my heirs and assigns, all that tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being on 
the east side of Hudson's River, within the county of West Chester, beginning 
at Kechtawong Creek, and so running along Hudson's river northerly to the 
land of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, from thence to the eastwardmost end of the 
said Van Cortlandt's land and from thence to a great fresh water pond called 
Keakates, and from the said pond along the creek that runs out of the said pond 
into Kitchtawan creek, and so downward on the south side of the said creek to 
Hudson's river, including all the land, soil and meadow within the bounds and 

a Surrogate's Office, N. Y., No. 25, 337 


limits aforesaid, together with, &c. And whereas I, the said Thomas Dongan, 
in and by a certain deed under my hand and seal, bearing date 12th day of Oc- 
tober, did grant and sell over unto John Knights, of the city of New York, 
all my right and title in the same, &c. 

I do, by these presents, ratify and confirm the same to John Knights, this 20th 
day of March, 1686. 

Upon the 20th of April, 1687, we find a conveyance from John 
Knight, gent., to his Excellency, Governor Dongan, of the same terri- 
tory, called Kitchtawong. a 

It will be seen hereafter that the royal patent of the manor of Cort- 
landt recites " sundry grants," made by Governor Dongan to the pa- 
tentee. One of which was doubtless the above conveyance. Col. 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt subsequently received a confirmation for the 
same, from the Indians, bearing date August the 8th, 1699. 

" We, Sachima,Wicker, sachem of Kightawonck, Koraghfall, Awoghran, Mon- 
inghme, a squaw, Marackenegh.asquaw, Poking, aboy,Wighquekameeck,Queen, 
a boy, Massarcett, Howogarint, Johnny Taparinock, Oghgniawe, Orraragpuock, 
Pagkerngkinck, Ravisson, Mighegaroe Tapugh, a squaw, Tappawahigh, a squaw, 
Aratissanck Maentigrookass, his Kapoaghpurmin Sawappawall, all right, just,nat- 
ural owners and proprietors of all the land hereinafter mentioned, lying and be- 
ing within the bounds and limits of the marriners of Cortlandt,&c ,&c. , have sold, 
for a certain sum of money, all that tract and parcel of land situate, lying and 
being in the manor of Cortlandt, in "West Chester county, beginning on the south 
side of Kightawonck Creek, and so along the said creek to a place called Kewig- 
hecock, and from thence along a creek called Peppeneghek, to the head thereof, 
and then due east to the limits of Connecticut, being the easternmost bounds of 
said manner, and from thence northerly along the limits of Connecticut afore- 
said to the river Mattegtecos ten miles, and from thence due west to Hudson's 
river, together with all the lands, soils, &c, &c. 

Her mark I Tapahuck, a squaw, 
Sackima wee. The mark of O Sawappen, a squaw, 

sachem of Kichtawank, N " R Arahsant, 

his mark, " X Maantick, 

Corachpa, Jx "A Kakiskagin, a squaw, 

Wechrepua, <J " Q Ackparum, a squaw, 

Monrechro, ^ "V Ockququqrie, 

a squaw, ' ' Q Oranack Rank, 

Manackawagh, a squaw, i-h " oq Paghkinekink 

Pooghkink, a lad 15 years of age, a " M Rawefen, 

signer of the rights of his father, " O Michhacharo, 

" O Papruch, a squaw, 

' • i-s Wighquach kanno, 

" N Quez, a youth 13 years old, 
" — Masacott, 

'• '"0 Koocparen, 

" o Jonyeo, 

" P Taparmuck. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of John Nanfan, A Depeyster, 
James Graham, A. Livingston."& 

a Co. Bee. Lib. A., 121. 

b Book of Indian deeds, Alb. warrant for survey, Lib. L, SS. 


The Hon. Stephanus Van Cortlandt being now vested in the fee 
simple, the whole territory was by royal charter erected into the lord- 
ship and manor of Cortlandt, which, according to actual survey, con- 
tained eighty-three thousand acres. It is said that the governor's fees 
on this occasion amounted to three hundred pieces of eight. 

Over the extensive forests of Cortlandt (celebrated for their fat veni- 
son,) the lord of the manor was constituted, "the sole and only ranger, 
to have and enjoy all the benefits and perquisites, &c, that of right 
doth belong unto a ranger according to the statutes and customs of the 
realm of England." In fact there was a paramount right in the superior 
lord for the range of deer within the manor, as parsel of the forest; a 
right which might consist with free Chace and Warren on the mesne 

The Lords of Cortlandt had power to hold one Court Leet, and one 
Court Baron in their territory for the collection of fines, &c, to which 
the several wards in the manor owed suit and service. 

The lords of Cortlandt also enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of 
sending a representative to the provincial assembly. 

The whole manor was by the feudal tenure of paying therefor yearly to 
the Crown, upon the feast day of the Annunciation of the blessed Vir- 
gin Mary, the rent of forty. shillings. 


Gulielnius Tertius Dei Gratia, Anglise, Scotiae, France et Hibreniaj, Rex. fidei 
defensor, &c, &c. 

' ' To all to whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting : Whereas, our 
loving subject, Colonel Stephanus Van Cortlandt, one of the members of our 
Council of our Province of New York, &c, hath by his petition presented unto 
our trusty and well beloved Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, Captain-General and 
Governor-in-chief of our said Province of New York and territories depending 
thereon, in America, &c, prayed our grant and confirmation of a certain parcel 
and tract of land situate, lying and being upon the east side of Hudson's river, 
beginning on the north line of the manor of Phillipsburg, now in the tenure and 
occupation of Frederick Phillips, Esq., one of the members of our said Council, 
and to the south side of a certain creek called Kightawanck Creek, and from 
thence by a due east line, running into the woods twenty English miles, and 
from the said north line of the manor of Phillipsburgh upon the south side of 
the said Kightawanck Creek, running along the said Hudson river northerly as 
the said river runs into the north side of a high hill, which high lands, common- 
ly called and known by the name of Anthony's nose, to a red cedar tree, which 
makes the southernmost bounds of the land now in the tenure and occupation of 
Mr. Adolph Phillips, including in the said northerly line, all the meadows, 
marshes, coves, bays and necks of land and peninsulars that are adjoining orex- 
tending into Hudson's river within the bounds of the said line, and from the 


said red cedar tree another due easterly line running into the woods twenty 
English miles, and from thence along the partition line between our Colony of 
Connecticut and this our Province, mitil you come into the place where the first 
easterly line of twenty miles doth come — the whole being bounded on the east 
by the said partition line between our said Colony of Connecticut and this our 
Province, and on the south by the northerly line of the manor of Phillipsburgh 
to the southward of Kightawanck Creek aforesaid, and on the west by the said 
Hudson's river, and on the north from the aforesaid red cedar tree by the south 
line of the land of Adolph Phillips, and also of a certain parcel of meadow 
lying and being situate upon the west side of the said Hudson's river, within 
the said high lands over against the aforesaid hill called Anthony's nose, begin- 
ning on the south side of a creek called by the Indians Sinkapogh, and so along 
the said creek to the head thereof, and then northerly along the high hills, as 
the river runneth, to another creek called Apinnapink, and from thence along 
the said creek to the said Hudson's river, which certain tract of land and meadow 
our said loving subject is now actually seized and possessed thereof, and doth 
hold the same of us by virtue of sundry grants heretofore made unto him by Col. 
Thomas Dongan, late Governor of our said Province, and whereon our said 
loving subject hath made considerable improvement, having been at great cost, 
charge and expense in the purchasing the said tract of land and meadows 
from the native Indians, as well as in the settling a considerable number of 
families thereon, and being willing to make some further improvement thereon, 
doth by his said petition further request and pray that we would be graciously 
pleased to erect the aforesaid tract of land and meadows within the limits and 
bounds aforesaid into a lordship or manor of Cortlandt, which reasonable re- 
quest for the future encouragement of our said loving subject, we being willing 
to grant : Know ye, that of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere 
motion, we have given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and by these presents 
do for us, our hens and successors, give, grant, ratify and confirm unto our said 
loving subject, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, all the aforesaid certain parcel and 
tracts of land and meadow within their several and respective limits and bounds 
aforesaid, together with all and every of the messuages, tenements, buildings, 
barns, houses, out-houses, stables, edifices, orchards, gardens, inclosures, fences, 
pastures, fields, feedings, woods, underwoods, trees, timber, swamps, meadows, 
marshes, pools, ponds, lakes, fountains, waters, water courses, rivers, rivulets, 
runs, streams, brooks, creeks, harbors, coves, inlets, outlets, islands of meadow, 
necks of land and meadow, peninsulas of land and meadow, ferries, fishing, 
fowling, hunting and hawking, and the fishing in Hudson's river, so far as the 
bounds of the said land extends upon the same, quarries, minerals, (silver and 
gold mines only excepted, ) and all other the rights, members, liberties, privil- 
eges, jurisdictions, pre-eminences, emoluments, to the afore recited certain 
parcels or tracts of land and meadows within their several and respective limits 
and bounds aforesaid, belonging or in any ways appertaining or accepted, re- 
puted, taken, known, or occupied as part, parcel or member thereof, to have and 
to hold all the afore recited certain parcels and tracts of land and meadows 
within their several and respective limits and bounds aforesaid, together with all 
and every of the messuages, tenements, buildings, barns, houses, out-houses, sta- 
bles, edifices, orchards, gardens, enclosures, fences, pastures, fields, feedings, 


woods, underwoods, trees, timber, swamps, meadows, marshes, pools, ponds, 
lakes, fountains, water, water-courses, rivers, rivulets, runs, streams, brooks, 
creeks, harbors, coves, inlets, outlets, islands of land and meadow, necks of land 
and meadow, peninsulas of land and meadow, ferries, fishing, fowling, hunting 
and hawking, and the fishing on Hudson's river as far as the bounds of the said 
land extends upon the said river ; quarries, mines, minerals, (silver and gold ex- 
cepted,) and all other the rights, members, liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, 
pre-eminences, emoluments, royalties, profits, benefits, advantages, heredita- 
ments and appurtenances whatsoever to the afore recited certain parcels or tracts 
of land and meadow within their several and respective limits and bounds afore- 
said, belonging or in any ways appertaining or accepted, reputed, taken, known 
or occupied as part, parcel or member thereof unto the said Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, his heirs and assignees, to the sole and only proper use, benefit and 
behoof of him the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, his heirs and assigns forever; 
and, moreover, know ye, that of our further special grace, certain knowledge, 
and mere motion, we have thought fit, according to the request of our said lov- 
ing subject, to erect all the afore recited certain parcels or tracts of land and 
meadows within the limits and bounds aforesaid into a lordship and manor, and 
therefore by these presents we do for us, our heirs and successors, erect, make 
and constitute all the afore recited certain parcel and tracts of land and meadows 
with the limits and bounds aforesaid, together "with all and every the above 
granted premises, with all and every of their appurtenances, into one lordship 
and manor to all intents and purposes ; and it is our royal will and pleasure 
that the said lordship and manor shall, from henceforth, be called the lordship 
and manor of Cortlandt ; and further, know ye, that we, reposing especial trust 
and confidence in the loyalty, wisdom, justice, prudence and circumspection of 
our said loving subject, do for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant 
unto our said loving subject, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, and to the heirs and 
assignees of him the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, full power and authority at 
all times forever hereafter in the said lordship and manor, one court leet and 
one court baron, to hold and keep at such time and times, and so often 
yearly as he or they shall see meet ; and all fines, issues and amercements 
at the said court leet and court baron, to be holden in the said lordship 
and manor, to be settled, forfeited, or employed, or payable, or happen- 
ing at any time to be payable at any time by any of the inhabitants of or 
within the said lordship and manor of Cortlandt, or the limits and bounds 
thereof, and also all and every of the powers and authorities herein before 
mentioned, for the holding and keeping the said court leet and court baron 
from time to time, and to award and issue out the customary writs, to be is- 
sued and awarded out of the said court leet and court baron, to be kept by the 
heirs and assigns of the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt forever, or their 
or any of their stewards, deputed and appointed with a full and ample power 
and authority to distrain for the rents, services and other sums of money, pay- 
able by virtue of the premises and all other lawful remedies and means for the 
having, possessing, receiving, levying and enjoying the premises and every 
part and parcel of the same, and all waifs, estrays, wrecks, deodands, goods of 
felons, happening, and being forfeited, within the said lordship and manor of 
Cortlandt, together, with all and every sum and sums of money, to be paid as a 


post fine, upon any fine, or fines, to be levied of any land tenements, or heredita- 
ments within the said lordship and manor of Cortlandt, together with the advow- 
son, and right of patronage, and all, and every, the church and churches erected 
or established, or hereafter to be erected, or established in the said manor of 
Cortlandt ; and we do by these presents constitute, and appoint, our said loving 
subject Stephanus Yan Cortlandt, and his heirs and assigns, to be our sole and 
only ranger of the said lordship and manor of Cortlandt, and to have, hold, and 
enjoy, all the benefits, perquisites, fees, rights, privileges, profits and appurten- 
ances, that of right doth belong unto a ranger according to the statute, and cus- 
toms of our realm of England, in as full and ample manner, as if the same were 
particularly expressed, in these presents, anything to the contrary hereof in any 
ways notwithstanding ; and we likewise do further give, and grant, unto the said 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, and to his heirs and assigns, that all and every the 
tenants of him the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, within the said lordship and 
manor of Cortlandt, shall and may at all times hereafter, meet together, and 
choose assessors within the manor aforesaid, according to such rules, ways, and 
methods, as are prescribed for cities, towns and counties within our said province 
by the acts of General Assembly, for the defraying the public charge of each re- 
spective city, town, and county aforesaid, and all such sum or sums of money so 
assessed and levied to collect, and pay, and dispose of for such uses as the acts of 
General Assembly shall establish and appoint ; and further, of our said special 
grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, we do, by these presents, for us, our 
heirs and successors, give and grant unto our said loving subject, Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, and to his heirs and assignees forever, that the said Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, his heirs and assignees, shall and may, from time to time, from and 
after the expiration of twenty years next ensuing the date of these presents, re- 
turn and send a discreet inhabitant in and of the said manor, to be a representa- 
tive of the said manor in every Assembly after the expiration of the twenty 
years, to be summoned and holden within this our said Province, which repre- 
sentative so returned and sent shall be received into the House of Representa- 
tives of Assembly as a member of the said house, to have and enjoy such privi- 
leges as the other representatives returned and sent from the other counties and 
manors of this our said Province, have had and enjoyed in any former Assemblies 
holden within this our said Province, to have and to hold, possess and enjoy all 
and singular the said lordship and manor of Cortlandt and premises, with all 
their and every of their royalties and appurtenances unto the said Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, his heirs and assignees, to the sole and only proper use, benefit and 
behoof of him the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, his heirs and assignees forever, 
to be holden of us, our heirs and successors in free and common soccage, as of 
our manor of East Greenwich, in our County of Kent, within our realm of Eng- 
land, yielding, rendering and paying therefore yearly and every year forever 
unto us, our heirs and successors, at our city of New York, on the feast day of 
the Annunciation of our blessed Virgin Mary, the yearly rent of forty shillings 
current money of our said Province, in lieu and stead of all other rents and serv- 
ices, dues, duties and demands whatsoever for the afore recited tracts and par- 
cels of land and meadow, lordship and manor of Cortlandt and premises. In tes- 
timony whereof, we have caused the great seal of our said Province to be here- 
unto affixed : witness our said trusty and well-beloved Colonel Benjamin Fletch- 


er, our said Captain General and Governor-in-chief of our Province of New York 
and the territories depending thereon in America, and Vice-Admiral of the same, 
our Lieutenant and Commander in-chief of the militia and of all the forces by- 
sea and land within our Colony of Connecticut, and of all the forts and places of 
strength within the same, in council at our fort in New York, the 17th day of 
June, in the ninth year of our reign, Anno Domini, 1697. Benjamin Fletcher, 
by his Excellency's command. David Jamison, Secretary - * 

The following receipt for manorial quit-rent is endorsed, on the 
Royal Patent: 

Received in quality, as Receiver General of this Province, this 16th day 
of August, 1720, of Mrs. Gertrude Van Cortlandt, executrix of Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt, deceased, the sum of eight pounds proclamation money 
in full of quit-rents, for all the lands lying within the Manor of Cort- 
landt, to the 25th day of March last, pursuant to the within patent, as 
witness my hand. J. BYERLY, Collector. 

Stephanus Van Cortlandt, first lord of the Manor of Cortlandt, was the 
son of the Hon. Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt, immediately descended 
from one of the most noble families in Plolland, their ancestors having 
emigrated thither, when deprived of the sovereignty of Cortlandt. h 

The orthography of the surname is properly Corte-landt; the first 
syllable Corte or Korte, meaning in the Dutch language short; the 
second, landt, (land) literally the short land, a term expressing the pecu- 
liar form of the ancient Duchy of Courland in Russia. 

Courland in Russia, (says Schieutzler, ) formerly constituted a portion 
of Livonia, but was conquered by the Teutonic Knights in 1561. 
It subsequently became a fief of Poland. After the fall of the power it 
remained for a short time independent under its own Dukes, but in 
1795 it was united to Russia. d 

In the early part of the seventh century, we find the Dukes of Cour- 
land engaged in the Military service of the United Netherlands. The 
Ducal troops are said to have rendered great assistance in the reduc- 
tion of the towns of Kaverden and Minden. 

The coat armor of the Van Cortlands as recorded in the Hall of 
Records at Amsterdam in Holland, and as given by Burke and likewise 
as brought by the family to this country in 1637, are the following: — 
Arc. the wings of a wind-mill soltier-ways sa, voided of the field, five 
estoiles or etoiles gu. — Crest — surmounting the helmet of a King or 
Prince of the Blood Royal; an estoil or etoile gu. between two wings 

a Book of Fat. Alb., No. vii., 1G5, 

b Burke's Landed Gentry of England, vol. iv., 241. 

c The use of the letter K in this word is modern, the C ancient. 

d Schuitzler, La Kussia, p. 585. 

To face page OS, vol. 1. 


Family Arms :— Arg. the wings or arms of a wind-mill, saltierways su. voided of the field, five estoiles gu. Crest :— Surmounting a King's helmet, or Prince of the Blood Royal ; an estoile gu. between two wings elevated, that on the 

dexter side arg. sinister sa. Motto : — Virtus sibi mwnus, 

Right Don. Steven Van Cortlandt, (Courland, or Dukes of Courland), who_Catharine, nat. 1566, 
served with distinction in the military service of the United Provinces, I died at Cortlandt, 
In 1669; ob at Cortlandt, South Holland. | South Holland. 

Kight Hon. OlotT Stevensen, or Oloff Stevens Van Koitlandt, as he subsequently ^.Annetje Loockermans, of "Turnhont, - 
signed his name ; nat. at Cortlandt, in South nolland, 1600 ; a privy counsellor, 
of the State Govt, of Holland, Burgomaster, or Chief Magistrate of the great 
town of Wyck te Dauerstede, or Wyk by Durstede, Holland, Province of Ut- 
recht, Netherlands, in 1641-2. 

Right Hon. de Heer Stephanus. 

= Gertrude Schuyler, da of Fil- 

Johannes, nat. 

Jacobus, nat. 7th 

= Eva, da of 

Mary, nat. 80th = Col. Jeremiah 

Sopiiia = 


Catharinc = l.Col. John Dc 

Cornelia = Brant 

Van Cortlandt, first Lord of 

yp Pietersen Schnyler, nat. 

1648, bapt. Oct. 

July, bapt. 7th 


July, 1045. Van Rensselaer, 

nat. 31 


nat. 25th Witt, or, Jan 

nat. 21st Schuyler 

the Manor of Cortlandt. 

4th February, 1654, mar. 10th 

25th, 1648, ob. 

July, 1653 : an- 


bapt. July, Patroonof Reas- 


Oct .1652, der Vail, mar. 

Nov., 1655, 

Mayor of New York. Nat. 

September, 1671, ob. 1718. 


cestor of the 

1G41 selaer Wyck 


bapt.Jan. Nov. 3d, 1675. 

ob. Feb., ISth, 1689 

7th May, and bapt. 101 h May, 

Yonfcers branch 


5th, 1653 2. Frederick Phil- 

1643, Ob. 26th Nov., 1 TOO 



lpae, mar. Dec. 
6th, 1692. 

.Tohnnnes, or John Van Cort-_Anna 
landt, nat. 24th Oct., 1672; I Sophia 
bapt. Oct. SStli, second Lord VanSchaick 
of the Manor of Cortlandt mar. 1695 


nat. 26th Oct.. 
167S, ob s p. 
1T08; bapt. 

Nov. 6, 1678 

Philip Verplanole, ..Gertrude 

of Verplnnck's 
Point, West- 

Philip, nat 9th Aug., 
16S3, ob. 21st Aug., 
1746, bapt. BStl Aug., 
1683, will proved 

Catharine de Peyster, 
mar. 1710, da. of Ab- 
raham de Peyster, 
bapt. Aug. 16th. 1CS5, 
will dated 1766 

nat. 11th 


Gyshert, nat. 
less, ob. s. p. 
bapt. 7 Oct., 

Margaret, nat _1 Samuel Bayard. 
2d July, 1674, -B.Stephen Kem- 
bapt. 29th 

Margaret _Hon. Gen. Thomas Gage, 
the father of Henry Lord 

Cornelia, nat. 30— Col. John 
July, 1098 Sohuyler. 

S c S Gen. Philip Schuyler 

!« S 

ai %%$l 

£E |.= 

Stephen Van Cortlandt, -Mary Walton Rlcketts, 
nat. 26lh Oct., 1710, I mar. 1738, da. of Wm. 
ancestor of the Eng- Rlcketts, 1st cousin to 
llsh branch, ob. Oct. Win. Henry, faiher of 
17th, 1756 Viscount St. Vincent, 

in the county of 


Abraham, nat, 
19th Oct , 
1713. ob. 

Philip, nat. 
29th Feb.. 
1715, ob. 
s. p. set 30 

col. Philip, nnt 

1, 1814, he was an officer in the British 
army during the Revolutionary war, 
had 23 children among those who 
reached maturity 

. 10, 1739.ob May ..Catharine, da. Of Jacob 

ogden, by Elizabeth 
Bradford, who claimed 
Earldom of Bradford, 
mar. Aug. 2, 1762, ob. 
Feb. ISiO 

etts nat 
March 13, 

. Elizabeth 
Kort wrlght 





George Wanngtou Emma -her cousin 
died young W, H. Wnilnglou 

Catharine = Clement C. 
KHz 1. Moore, of 

IS14 New York 


John, nat. 

9th Sept., 1721, ob. 1st May,1814. 
1718, ob. first Lieut. Governor 
s. p. set. 29 of the State of New 

Pierre, nat. 10th Jan., Joanna Liv- 
ingston nat, 
28th August, 
1722, ob. 16th 
Sept., 1808, 
da. of Gilbert 

carharioe, nat. 
•26th June,1725, 
killed by the 
bursting of a 
cannon on the 
King's birth- 
day, June 4th, 

Philip Samuel John Abeel = Anna 

John = Miss Cuyler Stephen = l-u. Rutgers 

I =2.s Bookman 


no issue Van Cortlandt 
1st Cousin 

§3 2 s'5 «S 

:2 *£ 


Anna Maria, = Licut. Col. Jamea 

\ imimruond Bailer 1 

I Elphlnstone 

Their eldest eon Wra. Bailer 
Fuller Elphinstone, 15th Lord 
E. and one of ihe Queen's Lords 
In waiting 

Ca'-harine, nat. 
August 26th, 
1745; ob. an in- 

Stephen Van Cortlandt 

John = Elizabeth Van 
Cortlandt, 1st. 


James II Van Rensselaer 

Brig.Gen. Philip Van C. 
nat. Aug. 21, 1749, O. 
S. ob. Nov. 21, 1831, 
the last of the heirs of 
the entail 

Gilbert, nat. 6 
April, 1757, ob- 
8. p. 12 Nov., 

Stephen, nat. 13 
February, 1760, 
ob. s. p. 29th 
August. 1775 

Major Gen. Plerre = l. Catharine 
nat. 29 Aug., 1762, Clinton, 
of Cortlandt town, ^2. Anne 
member of Con- I Steven- 
gresa, ob. 184S son 

Catharine, nat. = Theodosius 
4th July, 1751. P. Van 
ob. 29th Sept , 
1629, set. 78, 2 
mos., 9 dayB 


Cornelia, nat. = 
2d Aug, 1753, 
ob. 14th Mar., 
1847, an. 94 

Anne, uat. = P. 8. Van Gertrude, nat. 26 

1st June, Reus- June, 1755, ob. 9 

1766, ob. oelaer December, 1766. 

Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt. heir of his uncle Philip, and first proprietor of the estate in fee simple ^Catharine Beck, da. of Theodoric Romeyn Beck. Esq., M. D., of Albany 

Pierre James Stevenson Theodoric Romeyn Catharine T. R. = The Rev. John 

Rutherford Mathews, 
mar. 1878, U.8 Navy 

Anne Stevenson 

Philip = Mary Banker 

Elizu^her cousin Wil- 

| liam Rlcketts 
Catharine = First consm, 

John Van Cortlandt y 

5 I 

L L L L I 

= Susan 

Catharine ' Rieketts I Chad- 
Kicketts [ eagree 

Hannah Jtra Purdy 



elevated j that on the dexter side arg., the sinister, sa motto — virtus sibi 
munus — Another family of that name in Holland bears for a crest "the 
arms or wings of a wind-mill. — The helmet of a King or Prince of the 
Blood Royal proves beyond a doubt the descent of this family from 
the old reigning Dukes of Courland. The estoile or star may be a mark 
of cadence borne by the third son, during the lifetime of his father. — 

Ducal Arms of Courland. 

The Ducal arms of Courland or Cortlandt are: — "arg, a lion, rampant, 
gu. ducally crowned or, for Courland, charged on the breast with an 
escutcheon, on which are placed the arms of the reigning Duke. Sup- 
porters. — Two lions ducally crowned, or, the whole within a mantle 
lined ermine, surmounted with a ducal crown. 

The ancient Dukes of Courland appear to have been represented in 
16 1 o by the Right Hon. Stevensen Van Courland or Cortlandt, then 
residing at Courland or Cortlandt, in South Holland, whose son Oloff 
Stephensen or Oloff Stevens Van Kortlandt, as he subsequently signed 
his name; was Burgomaster, or, chief magistrate of Wyck Duurstede* 
or Wyck by Durstede one of the five principal towns in the Province or 
Lordship of Utrecht in the Netherlands, 1635-6. The latter was born 
at Cortlandt in South Holland about 1600. 

Like his illustrious ancestors, Oloff Stephensen Van Cortlandt chose 
the military profession ; as early as 1637 we find him attached to the 
military service of the Dutch West India Company. " He is said to 
have been also a privy councillor of the States General of Holland and 
acted as secretary' of this Government to the Governor of New Amster- 

"He comes to New York in 1637," "and in the summer of that year 
he was transferred to the civil service as commissary of cargoes." On 

a (Wyct bie Dirarstede,) prov., and 13 M. E. S, Utrecht a town, cap. disk, on the Rhine 
where it gives off the Leek. Pop. 2, 413. 


the 26th of February, 1 641-2, he married Anneken Lookermans of 
Turnhout," now in Belgium, daughter of Govert Lookermans. In 
i648 01offStephensen Van Cortlandt left the Dutch West India Com- 
pany's service and embarked in business at Brouwer straat. He was a 
politician of influence, and was Colonel of the Burghery or City train 
bands in 1649. In 1650 he was president of a body called the "nine 
men," representing the citizens at large; as such, he opposed the policy 
of Governor Stuyvesant with considerable effect. Stuyvesant retaliated 
by turning the "nine men" out of their pews in church, and tearing up 
the seats. Mr. Van Cortlandt became one of the most considerable 
men in the city of New York, or New Amsterdam, as it was then called, 
and acquired a large property, amongst which was a plot on the west 
side of Broadway 238 ft. front extending to the North River and adja- 
cent to the present Courtlandt St." & "In 1654 he was elected schepen 

Autograph and Seals of Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt. 

of the city, and in 1655 appointed Burgomaster, which office he filled 
uninterruptedly to the close of the Dutch government. His place of 
residence was in Brouwer straat (now Stone street). He had the char- 
acter of being a worthy citizen, and a man most liberal in his charities." 
Among the wealthy citizens of New Amsterdam in 1654, occurs the 
name of Oloff Stevens who contributed the sum of 150 guilders towards 

a The record of the marriage of Burgomaster Van Cortlandt is February 26, 1642. Oloff 
Stephensen of Wyck te Duurstede, (Wyk bie Duurstede, a village of the Netherlands, 13 miles 
south-east of Utrecht,) to Anneken Lookermans of Turnbout now in Belgium, 25 miles east 
of Antwerp. See atlas pub. by Laurie and Whittle, No. 53, Fleet St., London, 12 May, 1794. 

b Valentine's Hist, of the City of N. Y., Putnam's. 

c O'Callaghan's Hist, of N. N. 


putting the city in a state of defence. 05 In a tax list for the city of 
NewYork, A,D., 1674, the estate of Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt 
is assessed at 45,000 guilders; his eldest son's, Stephanus, at 5,000 
guilders. b 

In 1664 the name of Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt, occurs as one of 
the six commissioners appointed to meet the English Deputies at Gover- 
nor Stuyvesant's house in the Bowery, to treat concerning the surrender 
of the colony. 

Oloff Stevens Van Cortlandt died sometime subsequent to 1683, leaving 
issue by his wife Annetje Lookermans, two sons and four daughters, 
viz: Stephanus, Jacobus, (ancestor of the Van Cortlandts of Yonkers, 
Maria, who marr. Jeremias Van Rensselear, Catharine, who marr. first 
John Dewal, secondly, Frederick Philipse; Cornelia, who marr. Baronet 
Schuyler; and Sophia, who married Andrew Teller. 

The Hon. De Heer Stephanus Van Cortlandt, eldest son of Oloff, 
was born at the family mansion on Brouwer straat, New Amsterdam, 
7th of May, 1643, and baptised in the Ref. Dutch church on the 10th 
of May, 1643. This distinguished personage was the first Mayor of New 
York, born in America. Upon the death of his brother-in-law, Jeremias 
Van Rensselaer in 1675, he became one of the three administrators of 
his estate, during the minority of Killian Van Rensselaer, (then twelve 
years old). He engaged in the mercantile profession on the present 
north-east corner of Pearle and Broad streets. His first appointment as 
Mayor was at the age of 34 years, and was a high compliment to his 
intelligence. He was sworn in Chief Justice of the Province 5th of 
October, 1700. He was also a member of the Governor's Council, and 
a Colonel in the Provencial militia. On the 14th of January, 1696, he 
was elected senior warden of Trinity church, New York. As a compen- 
sation for large sums of money advanced to the government he obtained, 
as we have seen in 1697, a Royal Charter for Lordship and Manor of 
Cortlandt. After a life of honesty, fortitude, and charity, he died 
25th of November, 1700, leaving by his wife Geertruy or Gertrude, 
eldest child (Guysbert having died in infancy) of Filyp Pictersen Van 
Schuyler, and Magritta Von Sleecktenhorst, eleven children, who inter- 
married with the DePysters, DeLanceys, Beeckmans, Schuylers, Skin- 
ners, Bayards, Johnsons and Van Rensselaers. 

On the 14th of April, 1700, Stephanus Van Cortlandt made and pub- 
lished his last will and testament as follows : — 

a M. S. vol. City Eec. N. T. 

b Moulton's sketch of New Orange, 1669, Stephanus Van Cortlandt in behalf of Oloff Ste- 
phanus Van Cortlandt his father, applied for Letters Notary on Dan'l Whitehead, late of 
Masbeth Kills, town office, N. Y., vol. i, p. 74. 



Know all men by these presents, that, I, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, of the city 
of New Yorke, merchant, being distempered in body, but of good, sound and 
perfect memory, praised be Almighty God therefore do mate, publish, and de- 
clare : this my last will and testament, (this 14th day of Aprill, in the year of 
our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, one thousand seven hunched, in the 
twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord William Third, King of Eng- 
land, Scotland and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c.,) in manner and form fol- 
lowing, that is to say, I bequeath my soul into the hands of the Almighty God 
my Heavenly Father, from whom I received it, and by whom of his meer grace 
I trust to be saved and received into His eternall rest, through the menitts of my 
dear Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ. My body, in hopes of a joyful resur- 
rection, I committ to the earth, to be buried in such decent manner and form as 
any Executrix hereafter named, shall think fit and convenient and touching the 
Distribution of what temporal Estate it hath pleased God to endow me withal 
in this world, I dispose of the same as folloeth That is to say Imprimis I will 
that all such Depths as I shall happen to owe to any Person or Persons at my 
Decease shall be truly Paid by my Execrutrix. 

Item I devise and bequeath unto my eldest son Johnannes Van Cortlandt 
(After the decease of my beloved wife) all that Neck and Part of my land on 
the East Side of Hudson's Eiver at the Entering of the Highlands just over 
against a certain place called Haverstroo and is known by the Indians by the 
name of Moanagh being to be Separated and Divided from my other lands on 
that side of the river called Appamapagh by a certain Creeke called Moanagh 
and bounded on the other side by the other side of the Creeke that runs between 
my land and the land of Rich Abrams and others together with the meadows 
that lies on the said Neck and all the buildings and other improvements made 
or to be made on the said land according to the agreement by mee made 
to the several persons now settled therein (which agreement my will is that my 
said Executrix, my said son and overseers herein after named, shall take care and 
se that the same be fully observed, performed and kept according to the true in- 
tent and meaning thereof). To have and to hold the said Neck of land and pre- 
mises with the appurtenances to the said Johannes my Son and his heirs forever. 

Item. — I do give Devise and Bequeath all my other houses, lands, mills, tene- 
ments, pastures, meadows, and their appurtenances and other Real Estate what- 
soever — and where so ever it be (after ye Decease of my s ' dear wife) unto my 
Eleaven children by name, Johannes, Margaret, Ann, Oliver, Mary, Philip, 
Stephannus, Gertrude, Elizabeth, Katherine and Cornelia and to such other chil- 
dren as it shall please God to bless me with (who is and are to share and Inherritt 
with those above named) to have and to hold to them their heirs and assignes 
respectively, and it is my Desire and Appointment that the same houses, lands, 
and premises be Either Equally Divided amongst them my said children, or 
that they hold or enjoy the same in Common Amongst them as my s d children 
and provisors and guardians hereafter named shall judge and think most effec- 
tuall and proper for ther best advantage, use, and benefit. 

Item. — It is my will and appointinent and Direction that upon a Division of 
my s d houses lands and mills and other Real Estate my Sons accord 3 to their 
priority of Birth shall have the first choyce alwayes allowing to the value of 


those parts they shall choose that the respective party and persons of my children 
may be made Equall in worth one to another. 

Item. — I will and Direct that in case after the Decease of my s d Dear wile itt 
should so happen (which God prevent) that if any of my sons should be visited 
by the hand of God by any Distemper, sickness or accident and thereby or other- 
wise be rendered uncapable or unable of making a propper choyse for themselves 
then my overseers to whose prudence and Descretion I leave the full manage- 
ment of this matter ; have power upon such division of my reall Estate af ores rI 
such Lott and part thereof and to assign, aUow, divide and lay out to such of my 
sons soe visited as they shall judge most fitt and proper for his or their shares, 
maintanance and support. 

Item. — I give and devise and bequeath to every one of my said children and 
such other child or children itt shall please God to bless me with, that is to say 
to those who are not already provided for, in this manner by me and what in 
my life time shall not by me be thus provided for, a lott of ground within the 
city of New York for the building a convenient dwelling house in w ch it is my 
Desire my Executrix with the Advice and consent of my said overseers shall al- 
lott, laye out and possess them of respectively as each of my sons attain the age 
of one and twenty years and my Daughters as they attaine to those years or be 
married to have and to hold them my said children respectively and to their 
heirs and assignes for ever. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to every one of my children not already provided 
for in this manner by mee, or that in my lifetime shall not by me be thus Pro- 
vided for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds apiece, Lawful money of 
New York, to be paid them respectively out of my personal Estate by my Exe- 
cutrix to my sons respectively, when they shall attaine to the age of one and 
twenty years, and to my daughters when they respectively attaine to that age, 
or be married, together with such household stuff to each of my said children 
as my Executrix shall see fit and convenient. 

Item. — It is my Will and Desire and Appointment that if any of my said 
children shall happen to dye, that is to say, any sons before they attaine respec- 
tively to the age of- one and twenty years, and my daughters before they respec- 
tively attaine that age or be married, then neither the said Lott of ground nor 
the said one hundred and fifty pounds shall be given, laid out or allowed them 
or either of them. 

Item. — It is my Will and Desire, and I do hereby Declare and Ordain that if 
it shall so happen (which God forbid) that by Warr, Losses, Bankrupts or other 
inevitable misfortunes, my personall Estate shall be soe lost or diminished that 
my Executrix cannott reasonably pay the said Several legacies of one hundred 
and fifty pounds to each of my said children, then it is my Will and Desire that 
She only pay soe much to each of my children as she shall find herself able to- 
pay and shall judge convenient, leaving the same wholly in such case to her 
maternall love and good discretion. And I do hereby Will, order and Declare 
that in such case, what each child or children shall have less than my other 
children in this manner already provided for, have had after the desease of my 
said dear wife, shall be suplyed and made good to them out of my Real estate 
before any division therein to be made as aforesaid, so that their said portions 
may be made alike and Equall. 


Item. — I give and Bequeath to my well beloved wife, Guertruydt Van Cort- 
land, if she continue my widow, all and singular my personal and mixed Estate 
and Moveables whatsoever and wheresoever within this Province of New York 
or elsewhere, be the same in Goods, Whares, cattle, depts, Linen, wooling, 
plate, Jewells, or of any other nature or kind whatsoever. And I do hereby 
make my said Beloved wife Gurtruydt Van Cortlandt, sole Execurix of this 
my last Will and Testament who (it is my Desire and Will) shall out of my 
mixed andpersonall Estate, pay, satisfie and Discharge all my Just Depts, and 
also my Funeral Charges. 

Item. — I will ordaine and Devise that my s' 1 wife my Executrix shall have 
the custody and care of the Education and bringing up of ray said Children and 
During her widowhood shall have, take and receive to her own use, the full and 
whole rents, Issues and Profitts of all and every parte of my said houses, lands, 
mills and other such Estate whatsoever, without giving or rendering any inven- 
tory or account thereof to any person whatsoever, and it is my Will and Desire 
and Request that she, my said Executrix, do out of the same, and my personal 
Estate provide for, maintaine, Educate and bring up, all such of my children as 
at the time of my Death shall be under the age of one and twenty a..d unmar- 
ried, until they attain the said age of one and twenty yeers or be married. 

Provided, always, that in case my said wife shall think fit to marry again, that 
is my Will, Desire and Determination, that she shall give an exact and perfect 
Inventory of all my personall Estate then in being to my Overseers, the Guar- 
dians of my children herein after named or the survivors or survivor of them 
and in such case, my Debts being first truly paide, I give, Will, Devise and Be- 
queath the one Equall third parte of all my said personall Estate to my said wife 
for her and also an equal third parte of the rents, Issues and Profits of all and 
singular my said houses, lands, mills and Real estate for and during her naturall 
Life, and further it is my Desire, Will and Direction that in case of my wive's 
re-Marriage she shall have the choice or election of my houses which she shall 
like best to live in, she allowing the rent of the same house unto her third part 
of the rents and profitts of my Real Estate hereby Bequeathed her. 

Item. — If it should so happen that my wife afores d should re-marry then I 
give and Bequeath two thirds of my personall Estate and two thirds of the 
rents, Issues and Profitts, of my houses, Lands, Mills and Real Estate, to all my 
children as aforesaid during the natnall life of my said Wife Equally to be divi- 
ded amongst them. In case it should so happen that any of my said Children 
should come to dye, that is to say, any of my sons before they attaine the age of 
one and twenty years, or any of my daughters before they attaine the same age 
unmarried, then it is my Desire, and I do hereby Order and Direct that their 
share of my Real Estate herein before Devised shall Devolve and Come to my 
surviving children and the heirs of the Bodyes of such of my sons who shall dye 
after their attaining the age of one and twenty years and the heirs of the bodye 
of such of my daughters as shall be marrried. 

Item. — In case it should so happen that all my children should dye, the sons 
before they attaine the age of one and twenty, and my daughters before they at- 
taine that age or before marriage, and my wife happens to marrie at all, then it is 
my will and desire, and I do hereby order, bequeath and devise that my said 
wife do have and enjoy all my estate Real and Personal or mixt, during her 


natural life, and that after her decease the one full and equal half or moyety 
thereof shall devolve, come and be enjoyed by my rightful heirs and the other 
half to and by the right heirs of my beloved wife aforesaid. Item, I do will, 
order and determine, and in case it should so happen that my said beloved wife 
shall dye before my sons come to the age of one and twenty years or before my 
daughters attaine to that age or be married then it is my desire and appointment 
that all such of my sons as at the decease of my said wife, shall become to the 
age of one and twenty years, and all such of my daughters as at her death shall 
be under that age and unmarried, shall be maintained and educated by my sons 
till they come to the age of one and twenty years or my daughters until they 
come to that age or are married, out of the rents, Profitts and ishues of my 
houses, lands and real Estate, and also out of the same shall be provided for and 
advanced and equall with my other chilldren which accounting the lott of 
Ground, the one hundred and fifty Pounds and household stuff before mentioned 
Intended for each of my children, I do" Estimate to amount unto the Value of 
£500 New York money, to each child besides the parte and share of my reall 
Estate herein Before Deposed and Devised. Lastly, I do hereby Constitute, De- 
clare and appoint my said Beloved Wife my Executrix together with my Brother 
Jacobus Yan Cortlandt, my Brother Brant Schuyler and my Cousin William 
Nicholls to be Guardians, Tutors and Overseers over my said children and to see 
that this my Will relating to them and each of them be duly, fully and truly 
Executed, performed and accomplished according to the just, true and Genuing 
Intent and Meaning thereof. In Testimony whereof, I the said Testator have 
hereunto sett my hand and seale in the presence of the Witnesses whose names 
are under written the day, month arid year first before mentioned. 

Signed, sealed and declared to be The last Will and Testament of the above 
named Stephanus Van Cortland in the presence of 

Tho. Wenham, "1 

Kip Van Dam, , -> 

John Abeel, } STEPHANUS VAN COBTLAND. \ l. g. [■ 


Andrew Teller, Jue.« J 

The above will was proved 7th of Jan. i7oi. & 

The will of Geertruy or Gertrude, his wife, bears date Oct., 17 18, and 
was proved. Upon the 23d of December, A. D., 1706, Oliver Van Cort- 
landt, one of the devisees of Stephanus, published his last will- and testa- 
ment, in which he devised all his right, title and interest, of and into his 
portion, to his ten surviving brothers and sisters, by which they became 
seized in fee of Cortlandt's Manor as tenants in common. 

In the year 1730, (November 13th,) the aforesaid children and de- 
visees drew up articles of agreement for the division of the Manor. Up- 
on the 29th of May, 1733, a division was made of that part of the Manor 
situated north of the River Croton. It was not, however, until Novem- 

a Rec. of Wills, Surrogate's Office, N. T., No. 2, 1682-1692, Pp. 78, 79, SO, 81, 82, S3. 
6 Rec. of Wills, Surrogate's Office, N. Y., No. 2, 1682-1G92, pp. 84. 


ber the 4th, 1734, that a final partition, and division, of the Manor 
took place between the surviving children and grandchildren of Col. 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, when they gave to each other releases in due 
form of law in severalty, viz : 

Philip Verplanck and Gertrude, his wife; Mary Melin; Samuel 
Bayard and Margaret, his wife ; Andrew Johnson, and Catharine, his 
wife ; Stephen de Lancey, and Anne, his wife ; Philip Van Cortlandt ; 
John Schuyler, and Cornelia, his wife" , and William Skinner, and Eliza- 
beth, his wife. 

The original partition deed is in the possession of Pierre Van Wyck, 
M.D., of Sing Sing. 



No. 1. 


Philip Van Cortlandt. 



P. V. Planck, 






Stephen Van Cortlandt. 



John Miller. 



De Lancey. 



Mary Bayard, 



Mr. Schuyler. 



Andrew Johnson. 



Mrs. Beekman. 

14,333 front lots. 

32,887 north lots. 

28,765 south lots. 

7,128 south of Croton 

83,113 acres in Manor divided. 
3,000 acres in Pound Ridge. 
100 acres in Parsons Point. 

86,213 "& 

The share of each heir amounted nearly to 8,000 acres. 

By this partition of the Manor, the following lots were laid out to the 
devisees in Cortlandt town, viz. : 

River lot No. 1, to Philip Van Cortlandt ; No. 2, Philip Verplanck, 
who married Gertrude, only daughter and sole heiress of Johannes Van 
Cortlandt, one of the original devisees. 

a The father and mother of Gen. Philip Schuyler. 

b Copied from original document in the possession of Pierre Van Wyck, M. D., of Sing 
Sinsf. another Partition Deed for the Manor of Cortlandt dated Dec. 14th, 1753, occurs among 
the Van Wyck MSS. 



No. 3, William Skinner, who married Elizabeth Van Cortlandt. This 
individual "was the first rector of St. Peter's church, Perth Amboy; 
his real name was MacGregor, and he was among those of that clan, 
proscribed after the rebellion of 1 7 1 5 ; he had received a superior educa- 
tion, and was endued with a strong mind ; having received holy orders, 
he was appointed missionary to Amboy, in New Jersey, 1721, and died 
rector, A. D., 1757. " a 

No. 4, Stephen Van Cortlandt ; No. 5, Mr. Melin ; No. 6, Stephen 
de Lancey; No. 7, Margaret Bayard, widow of Samuel Bayard ; No. 8, 
Mr. John Schuyler ; this lot had been sold prior to partition. North lot 
No. 1, Andrew Johnson. We have previously shown that Verplanck's 
Point, (by the will of Stephanus Van Cortlandt) passed to his son Johan- 
nes or John, whose daughter Gertrude married Philip Verplanck. 

In the year 1734 we find Philip Verplanck, of Cortlandt's Manor, and 
Gertrude his wife only daughter and heiress of Johannes Van Cortlandt, 
the eldest son and heir of Colonel Stephanus Van Cortlandt, late of the 
city of New York, deceased, and John Lent, of the said manor, in the 
other part, bargaining, selling, devising and leasing unto the said John 

" All that certain neck or tract of land and meadow, situate, lying and being 
in the Manor of Cortlandt, being bounded on the east by the land commonly 
called Appemaghpogh, and a certain creek, Meanagh on the north by the land 
now belonging to Hercules Lent, and on the south and west by Hudson's River, 
containing 1000 acres, the lessee yielding and paying therefor the yearly rent 
of one pepper-corn on the feast day of St. Michael, the Archangel." 6 

Above Verplanck's Point extended the patent of Hercules Lent, 
bounded on the north by Magregaries Creek. 

Lot No 9 was the property of Andrew Johnson, Esq., who married 
Catharine, eighth daughter of the Rt. Hon. De Heer Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt. This individual who resided at Perth Amboy in New 
Jersey, was descended of the Johnson's or Johnston's of Armandale, 
County of Dumfries; derived fron Sir John de Johnston, Knt, one of 
the guardians of the West marches in 1371/ 

No. 10 was the portion of Gertrude Beekman, fifth daughter of Rt. 
Hon. De Heer Stephanus Van Cortlandt, who married Col. Henry Beek- 
man. This lady who was born 10th October, 1688, and died 1777, 
possessed the highlands north of Peekskill creek. Gilbert Van Cort- 
landt, by his will bearing date 17th of Sept., 1784, and proved 8th of 

a Whitehead's Bast Jersey under the Proprietors. 

6 County Eec. Lib. G. p. 681. 

c The arms, crest and motto of this family show plainly that they were defenders of the 
borders in olden time are a saltiere sa., on a chief gu., two cushions or crest a spur erect betw. 
two wings or straps and buckles gu., mottoes— Nunquam mon paratus, aid I make sure. 


June, 1798, " bequeathed to his loving brother Pierre Van Cortlandt, 
and his heirs and assigns, all my real estate which was devised to me by 
my aunt Gertruyd Beekman, being front lot No. 10, called Anthony's 
Noos and 340 acres being the land bought of Andrew Johnston, Esq., 
deceased, situated on the south side of Peekskill, called No. 6, &c. a 

The division of the Manor, east of the river lots in the town, consisted 
of lot No. 1, distinguished by the name of the south lot, the property of 
Philip Van Cortlandt, Esq., also, a north lot No. 1, the property of An- 
drew Johnson, Esq. ; No. 1, south of the Croton, belonged to Philip Van 
Cortlandt, from whom it passed to the Hon. Pierre Van Cortlandt. 
The following advertisement dated March the 18th, 1762, relates to the 
sale of the above lot. "Conditions of sale of the South lot No. 1, 978 
acres of land situated in the south-west corner of Cortlandt Manor, and 
corner of north lot No. 6, belonging to the estate of Philip Van Cort- 
landt, Esq., deceased, above mentioned, sometime posted in the New 
Yo?-k Gazette, and now to be sold at public vendue, pursuant to an act 
of General Assembly, passed for the purpose and agreeable to, to a map 
hereunto annexed, Pierre Van Cortlandt, surviving executor of Philip, 
deceased, will give a title agreeable to the act of the Assembly, &c. 
The lands are to be sold to the highest bidder, and the purchase money 
to be immediately paid as soon as the deeds are given. Dated, Manor 
of Cortlandt, at the ferry-house near the mouth of Croton River. 6 

The will of Stephen Van Cortlandt, son of Philip, and grandson of 
Stephanus, bears date 7th of June, 1754. His wife was Mary Walton, 
daughter of William Ricketts of Westmoreland, Island of Jamaica, and 
Mary Walton of New York. His sons were Philip and William Rick- 
etts, and a daughter, Catharine, who died young. 

Item. — I do hereby give, devise and bequeath unto my said son Philip Van 
Cortlandt, all that my farm and plantation lying and being in the Manor of Cort- 
landt, now in the tenure and occupancy of Jacob Cornwall, to have and to hold 
the same farm and plantation to him, the said Philip, and to his heirs and assigns 
forever. Item. — I do hereby give and bequeath unto my said son Philip, my 
large silver tankard marked with the family coat of arms, to him, the said Philip; 
and to his heirs and assigns forever, &c. , &c. 

This will was proved and administered 24th of May, 1757, Surrogate's 
Office, N. Y., Lib. xx, 1273. 

Upon the 30th of March, 1762, John de Milt and Susannah his wife, 
conveyed to Pierre Van Cortlandt two tracts of land, the first being a 
part of lot No. 6, and the second, lot No. 1, south of the Croton. The 

a Surrogate's Office, N. Y., Lib. xlii. : 410. 

b Copied from original document in possession of the late Philip G. Van Wyct, Esq. 


heirs of the above grantee still hold lot No. i. Lot No. 2 belonged to 
Oliver de Lancy, and lot No. 3 to John Watts. 

Philip Van Cortlandt the eldest surviving son of Stephanus was 
born on the 9th of August, 1683. He married Catharine de Peyster, 
and on the failure of heirs, male, to his elder brother John, continued 
the line of the family. Upon the death of Philips (which took place 
21st of August, 1746,) his property became divided among. his six chil- 
dren, viz., Stephen, Abraham, Philip, John, Pierre and Catharine. Ste- 
phen, the eldest, married Mary Walton Ricketts. Their descendants at 
present reside in England, and have intermarried with many members 
of the British nobility. 

The fifth son, Pierre Van Cortlandt, ultimately became the oldest 
surviving representative of the Van ' Cortlandt family in America, and 
the heir at law of the entail. 

Upon the breaking out of the revolutionary war, Pierre Van Cortlandt 
was appointed president of the committee of public safety, and was sub- 
sequently elected Lieutenant Governor of this State. Throughout the 

a The will of Philip Van Cortlandt bears date Aug. 1, 1746. In which he gives and devises 
" all that my three farms or lotts of land described in the map or survey of the Manor of 
Cortlandt, by the south lot No. 1, to wit, the farnie where Johannes Bachies lives on, and the 
f arme where Johannes Snock, Blacksmith, lives on, and the farme where Andrews Miller now 
lives on, each farme to contain 250 acres adjoining to each other, with all rights, privileges, 
&c, belonging, &c, first during the tenure of his natural life ;remainder to James De Lancey, 
Esq., and Peter DeLancey, gentlemen, both of New York,and the survivors of them and the heirs 
of such survivor for and during the life of my said son Stephen, to the intent to support the 
contingent Remainders in this my will after limitted so that the same may not be destroyed 
but in trust nevertheless to permit and suffer him my said son Stephen to possess the said 
farms and premises with the appurtenances and to receive and take the rents, issues and 
profits thereof to aid for his own use during his natural life and from and after his decease, 
then I devise the said three farms to the first son of the Body of my son Stephen, lawfully is- 
sued, (whether then born or unborn) and to the heirs, male, of the body of such first son law- 
fully issuing, and for default of such issue, then likewise to the second, third and any other 
son of my said son Stephen successively, and in their order the one after the other as they 
shall be in seniority of age and priority of birth and the several and respective heirs, male, of 
the Body and bodys of every such second, third and other son or sons (the eldest of such sons 
and the kins, male, of his Body being always preferred and to take before any of the younger 
sons and heirs, male of his Body) and in case of all such issues, male, failing, then I do give 
and devise the said three farms, &c, unto my second son Abraham, on the same conditions." 
Then to his third son John and from him to his ^urth son Pierre. "And in default of such 
issue, male, of all my said sons, then I devise the remainder in fee of the three said farms, 
&c, unto my own right heir, male, &c." " To his second son Abraham, he bequeaths his 
dwelling house and joined thereto belonging fronting Stone street, New York, wherein he 
now lives, &c, " also all that last part of the fourteen farms called or known by the name of 
my north lott (No. 6,) in the Manor of Cortlandt as the same as described in the map or sur- 
vey from No. 1 to 7, also the farm where John Jurree Seer now lives on to contain 250 acres 
adjoining to each other, &c, on the same conditions as before mentioned from Abraham to 
Stephen, from Stephen to John and from John to Pierre, "all failing to his right heir, male.'" 
Three farms in the Manor of Cortlandt known as No's 8, 9 and 10. " To his fourth son Pierre, he 
devises all that my house and farm or lott of land described on the map or survey of the Ma- 
nor of Cortlandt, known by the name of south lott (No. 1,) being the East River lott, from 
Teller's Point, extending all along Croton River together with the Perry-house and Ferry 
thereunto belonging, including the farm where David Brown now lives, and also a lott of 
land on the east side of Croton River in the Manor of Cortlandt, known by the lott (No. 1) now 
in possession of Peter Williams and the widow of Hendrick David, the whole as it 
is conveyed to me also four farms in the Manor of Cortlandt in north lott (no. 6) No's 11, 12, 
13 and 14." "And that all and every of my said four sons Stephen, Abraham, John and Pierre, 
and the heirs, male, of their respective Bodys, shall and may from time to time and at all 
times hereafter at all fiting seasons in the year have full and free liberty, leave and lysence to 
Hunt, Fish and Fowl near, about, in and uuon Croton Fiver, when and as often as they shall 
think fitting. This Will was proved 17th of Nov., 1748, Surrogate's Office, N. Y., Lib. xvi, p. 
375. The fishing rights of the Van Cortlandt's are said to have extended two miles, ?'.e.,_from 
Deer Island in the river Croton to the marked rock on Crawbucky Point near Sing-Sing. 


trying period of the revolution, he appears to have been the principal 
administrator of the State government, (George Clinton being necessarily 
engaged in the military duties.) His patriotic zeal rendered him so ob- 
noxious to the enemy, that the British Governor set a bounty on his 

The following obituary notice of this illustrious individual occurs in 
the Gazette of May 17, 1814: 

"Pierre Van Cortlandt, early took an active part against every op- 
pression of the English government upon the colonies. He was chosen 
into the first Provincial Congress, was a member of the committee 
which formed the constitution of this State, and was honored by the 
suffrages of his country at the first election under the new government 
the station of lieutenant governor, and continued to be elected to that 
office for eighteen years successively. He was the friend and confi- 
dent of that great patriot, George Clinton. In the revolution he 
shared the fate of the friends of their country; his family were obliged 
to abandon their homes in the Manor of Cortlandt, and take refuge in 
the interior. Firm and undismayed in adversity; the ill success of our 
arms was a stimulous to greater exertions. He was one of those who, 
relying on the justice of their cause, put their trust in God and stood 
firm at the post of danger. In prosperity he was not too much elated, 
but held a temperate and uniform course, having in view only the inde- 
pendence of the United States and the safety of his country. 

"In the Senate of this State he presided with dignity and propriety, nor 
ever suffered his opinion to be known until called upon constitutionally 
to decide; and his vote wis then given with promptness, uninfluenced 
by party feelings, and evidencing the convictions of a sound and honest 
mind. In the year 1795 ne declined a re-election as lieutenant gov- 
ernor, and retired into private life." 

The Hon. Pierre Van Cortlandt died on the morning of the first day 
of May instant, at his seat at Croton River, in this town, in the 94th 
year of his age, leaving issue by his wife Joanna Livingston, Philip, 
Gilbert, Stephen, Pierre, Catharine, Cornelia, Anne and Gertrude. 

Philip, the eldest son, was born in the city of New York on the first 
day of September, 1749. This individual was brought up at the Manor 
House on the Croton, and subsequently received a liberal education in 
the vicinity of Coldingham, N. Y. He was admitted to Kings College 
(now Columbia) in 1754, graduated B. D. 1758, and received two A. M. 
degrees in 1761. 

At the early age of nineteen he commenced business as a land sur- 
veyor; he had also the management of an extensive flouring mill and 
country store. Soon after the destruction of Lexington and Concord 
(by the British troops) he threw up business, and agreeing with his pat- 
riotic father in sentiment, determined by an appeal to arms, to obtain 


either liberty or death. In this intention he was strongly opposed by 
his tory relations, who used every effort to induce him to join their 
standard. Governor Tryon at the same time forwarded him a major's 
commission in the Cortlandt militia. This document he subsequently 
destroyed, and received in lieu thereof a lieutenant colonel's commission 
in the Continental service, bearing date June, 1775, signed John Han- 
cock, President of Congress. He continued to hold the above com- 
mand in the 4th New York regiment until November the 28th, 1776, 
when he received from General Washington a colonel's commission in 
the 2d New York regiment. In this capacity he served at the battles of 
Stillwater and Saratoga. In both of these actions the New York regi- 
ment suffered severely. In the winter of 1778 he was ordered to pro- 
tect the frontiers against the depredations of Brant, the Indian chief, 
who had destroyed much valuable property and murdered several of the 
defenseless inhabitants. In pursuance of these orders Col. Van Cort- 
landt marched to Laghawack, where he posted his command. Soon 
afterwards having received fresh orders from the commander-in-chief, he 
was on the eve of marching when Brant, supposing he had left the 
neighborhood, prematurely set fire to an adjoining village. The colo- 
nel immediately started his whole command in hot pursuit. Upon the 
first tidings, however, of their approach, Brant fled to the neighboring 
hills. In his diary Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt remarks, "As I ap- 
proached him (Brant) he being on the hills, and seeing me leaning 
against a pine tree waiting for the closing up of my men, ordered a 
rifle Indian to kill me, but fortunately he over-shot me, the ball passing 
three inches over my head. I then pursued him, but could not over- 
take him, as he ran through a large swamp." 

In the year 1779-80, Col. Van Cortlandt was a member of the court 
that tried Gen. B. Arnold for improper conduct. His own views of the mat- 
ter are thus recorded in the his diary : " Gen. Arnold being under arrest 
for improper conduct in Philadelphia, while he commanded there, I was 
chosen one of the court-martial, Maj. Gen.. Howe, President. There 
were also in that court four officers who had been at Ticonderoga when 
Col. Hazen was called on for trial, &c. ; we were for cashiering Arnold, 
but the majority overruled, and he was finally sentenced to be repri- 
manded by the commander-in-chief. Had all the court known Arnold's 
former conduct as well as myself he would have been dismissed the 
service," &c. 

In the year 1.780 Col. Van Cortlandt was selected as one of the colonels 
to command a regiment of infantry under Major General La Fayette. 
A letter is still preserved in the family from the Marquis de La Fayette 


to the Colonel, dated Light Camp, 16th September, 1780, and the fol- 
lowing from the Commander-in-Chief to Col. Van Cortlandt : 

Sir : — You will take charge of the clothing, the boats, entrenching tools, and 
such other stores as shall be committed to your care by the quart er-master- 
general ; with these you are to proceed (Sir in the order they are mentioned) to 
Springfield by the way of Sufferan, Pompton, the Two Bridges, and Chatham. 
When you arrive at Springfield you will put yourself under the order of Major 
Gen. Lincoln, or any other your superior officers commanding at that place. You 
will also, if occasion should require it, alter the above route agreeably to orders 
from either Major General Lincoln or the quarter-master-general. 

You will be particularly careful to collect all your men that are in proper con- 
dition to march, and will use your best endeavors to prevent desertion. 

Given at King's Bridge this 25th day of August, 1781. 

Geo. Washington. 

At the battle of Yorktown, in Virginia, Col. Van Cortlandt appears to 
have served on picket guard : for his conduct on this occasion he was 
advanced to the rank of Brigadier General. To his care the commander- 
in-chief entrusted 700 British and Hessian prisoners of war, which 
he conducted in safety to Fredericksburg. During the spring "of 
1782 his camp on the Flat Fields was visited by General and Lady 
Washington. a 

Upon the suspension of hostilities Gen. Van Cortlandt retired to the 
Manor House at Croton ; he was afterwards chosen one of the commis- 
sioners of forfeitures, and represented for sixteen years this district in 
Congress, declining re-election in 181 1. Gen. Van Cortlandt accom- 
panied the Marquis de La Fayette in his tour of the United States in 
1824. The general died at his house on the Croton November 21st, 
1831, and with him expired the entail. By his will he bequeathed to 
his brother, Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt, 600 acres ; to his three sisters, 
Anne Van Rensselaer, Cornelia Beekman, and Catharine Van Wyck, 
200 acres each ; and his western lands to his nephew, the late Philip G. 
Van Wyck of Sing Sing. The latter gentleman afterwards inherited his 
mother's portion consisting of 200 acres on north lot No. 1, south of 
the Croton, together with 112 acres north of that river. 

Peekskill, the principal town in Cortlandt town, is beautifully situated 
at one of the most picturesque points on the Hudson and east shore of 
the Bay of the same name. This place commands every advantage of 
river navigation, besides an extensive inland trade, of which it forms the 

By the Mohegan Indians the place was called Sachpes, a term de- 

a Extracts from Gen. Philip van Cortlandt's diary in the possession of his nephew, the late 
Philip G. van Wyck, Sing Sing. 


rived from the adjoining lands. The small stream intersecting the 
village was called by them Magrigaries. 

The Dutch first denominated the village Peekskill from Jan Peek, one 
of their early navigators, who, mistaking the present Annsville creek for 
the proper passage through the race, ran his yacht ashore on the former. 
Here he subsequently erected a habitation and spent the winter. 

The earliest settlement in this neighborhood commenced one mile 
north-east of Peekskill, on the property of Capt. John McCoy. The 
landing place was then at Pemart's dock, near the head of the tide waters 
of the creek. 

On the 8th day of August, 1745, occurs a sale of land from Andrew 
Johnson and Isabella his wife, daughter of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, to 
Caleb Hall and Palatiah Haws, consisting of a part of lot No. 2, situated 
in great front lot No. 9, beginning on south side of Peck's creek, con- 
taining 351 acres, excepting 16 acres of land conveyed by said Johnson 
to Mrs. Gertrude Beeckman. a 

Fifteen years subsequent to the above sale, Andrew Johnson conveys 
to Caleb Hall, Joseph Travis and Palatiah Haws, "lands situated at a 
place called Peekskill." 6 

In the year 1764, Birdsall, Nathaniel Brown, Joseph Travis, and Capt. 
Isaac Conklin, commenced the settlement of the present village. At 
that early period there was little or no business transacted here. The 
first store was erected by Daniel Birdsall in the vicinity of middle dock, 
near the mill of Andrew Johnson, Esq. Captain Swim is said to have 
sailed the first sloop from Pemart's dock, A. D. 1773. 

From its earliest settlement, the growth of Peekskill has been gradual, 
and its population has increased according to the development of its 
resources. The population in 1870 was 6,560. The present number 
will probably exceed 7,000. The village was incorporated in 1839; 
but prior to this, in 1827, the fire department was organized and an 
engine purchased. Nathaniel Bedell was the first foreman of the com- 
pany. The fire department consists now of five independent companies, 
constituting two hundred men under Chief Engineer George E. Craft, 
Esq. The village government was organized in 1 839 under the style and 
title of the " Corporation of the Village of Peekskill " by the election of 
Capt. F. W. Riqua, Frost Horton, Daniel D. Smith, James Taylor and 
Morris Depew, as Trustees. Capt. W. Riqua was elected by the Board the 
first President of the village, 

a Co. Rec. Lib. G., p. 403. 

b Co. Rec. Lib. H., p 344. 

c The present officers are : Stephen D. Horton, President, Andrew TTken, William D. 
Southard, William H. Hunter, E. F. Bedell, J. H. Kingsbury and Jas. H. Robertson, Trustees; 
Stephen Lent, Clerk. 


The streets, which are macadamized and kept in good repair, were first 
lighted with gas on the ist of December, 1856. The pride of the town 
is her water works — the Campfield — so-called on account of the reser- 
voir, which is located on an eminence that was undoubtedly the camp- 
ing ground of the soldiers of a revolutionary fort stationed near by. The 
water furnished by these works is of a pure quality and in unlimited 
quantities, pumped from the Peekskill Creek, which takes it rise in Put- 
nam County and flows over a clear gravel bottom down through the 
mountains, supplied by tributaries from innumerable springs. The works 
are situated in a romantic ravine about two miles north of the village, 
from whence, by ponderous pumps, worked by the power of the water on 
turbine wheels, the supply is forced to a reservoir of 26,000,000 galloons 
capacity, at an elevation of 376 feet above tide water. The water fur- 
nished by these works, for all practical purposes, is absolutely pure, the 
microscope having failed to detect impurities in any portions submitted 
to its tests, while it possesses the peculiar property of cleansing steam 
boilers from rust, and leaves no deposit in evaporation. The pressure 
varies in different parts of the town from 100 to 175 lbs. to the square 
inch, and forces water through a one inch nozzle thirty feet higher than 
the tallest steeple. In case of fire the danger now is in doing more 
damage with the water than will be accomplished by the flames. Fire 
protection is afforded by 7 5 hydrants so placed that, with few exceptions, 
all the property in the village is reached. The works were completed in 
1875, and in all respects, viz. : economy in construction ($141,000), 
quality and quantity of water and substantiability, they will ever remain 
as an enduring monument to the Board of Water Commissioners under 
whose supervision they were constructed from plans submitted by Chas. 
E. Fowler, Esq., the engineer. The Board consisted of Reuben R. Finch, 
George W. Robertson, Chas. F. Southard, Wm. S. Tompkins, and Gil- 
bert T. Sutton. The following named gentlemen constitute the present 
Board: Geo. W. Robertson, Ardenus R. Free, Chas. F. Southard, Wm. 
S. Tompkins and John Halstead. 

Superintendent — Chas. R. Swain. 

The town is well situated for purposes of education, furnishing, as it 
does, facilities for communicating daily and almost hourly with the great 
city of New York. There are two union free school districts in the 
town. The amount expended, the pupils taught and the number of 
teachers are about the same in each district, and the schools are efficient- 
ly and economically managed, the annual expense in each school being 
about $5,000. A principal and seven assistants are employed in each, 
and the average daily attendance in each is about three hundred. 


The Peekskill Military Academy is delightfully situated upon Oak 
Hill, a high eminence overlooking the surrounding country and com- 
mands an extended view of the ever changing scenery of the Hudson. 

The Academy was built with a capital stock of $7,000, subscribed by 
the inhabitants of Peekskill, and is under a Board of Trustees and the 
Regents of the University of the State of New York. The building, 
originally erected in 1835, and enlarged within the past twenty years by 
various important additions, is surrounded by over six acres of ground 
and many fine old trees, and presents one of the most attractive and 
prominent objects of note in the town. It is, too, to no little extent, as- 
sociated with its local history, for during its forty years successful career, 
many prominent citizens have been educated within its walls and many 
more from distant parts; and we find among its 1,800 of either teachers 
or taught, the names of some well known throughout our State, viz : 
Gen. J. W. Husted, Hon. C. M. Depew and others. It was for thirty 
years, until 1873, under its weU known principal, Albert Wells, Esq., 
and has since that date been conducted by Col. Charles J. Wright, A. 
M., and Robert Donald, A. M., associate principals. At present it has 
one hundred students, among whom even Japan has a representation. 
The present valuation of its property is about $75,000. The following 
is its Board of Trustees : Hon. Owen T. Coffin, president ; S. R. Knapp, 
secretary ; N. Dain, treasurer ; Messrs. Edward Wells, O. V. Crane, 
Coffin S. Brown, William P. Raymond, F. W. Requa, D. F. Clapp, J. 
B. Brown and D. S. Herrick, 

Prof. Unterreiner and Mr. Glen, having leased Searle's Academy, are 
making arrangements for the establishment of a first-class high school, 
which will be opened in September. The building, which is large and 
commodious, occupies an elevated position and commands a fine view 
of Hudson River scenery. The school and recitation rooms are large 
and pleasant, with high ceilings, well ventilated, and built with a proper 
regard to the health and convenience of both teachers and students. 

Besides these institutions, there are the St. Gabriel's school, (Epis- 
copal), the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, (Roman Catholic), and 
Miss Germond's school for young ladies. 

The near proximity of Peekskill to New York city makes it easy 
of access by the Hudson River Railroad all the year around, and in the 
summer by steam boats. Some seventeen trains daily leave Peekskill 
going north and south, whilst ten leave New York City for Peekskill. 

Here is the market centre of an extensive manufacturing country, but 
the chief business is the manufacturing and working of iron. The history 
of the iron business in Peekskill may be said to have begun fifty years 


ago, when Stephen Gregory commenced melting iron in a crucible for 
the purpose of making plow castings. His place was located on Main 
street, on property now occupied by Southard, Robertson & Co. (The 
People's Stove Works.) He was succeeded by Wyley, Conklin & Co., 
who, in 1826, commenced the erection of new buildings, put in ma- 
chinery, and largely increased the business. 

The plow works of Wyley & Conklin having been sold to Henry 
Robinson, the manufacture of grates and mantles for dwelling houses 
was commenced. Mr. Robinson was succeeded by Thos. Southard, 
dec'd, in 1840, who commenced the manufacture of stoves. Some eight 
or ten years afterwards, upon the death of Mr. Southard, the present 
firm of Southard, Robertson & Co. came into possession, and the im- 
print of the People's Stove Works may now be found upon work of their 
manufacture all over the land. 

In the winter of 1826-27, Seth Hoyt erected part of the buildings now 
known as the Peekskill Plow Works and commenced the manufacture 
of plows and plow castings on an extensive plan. A few years after- 
wards Mr. Hoyt died and the property was purchased by Truman Minor 
and Frost Horton, who, in 1835, formed a co-partnership under the firm 
name of Minor & Horton, and three years afterwards the firm became 
Minor, Horton & Co., who commenced the erection of extensive ad- 
ditions and enlarged their business to such an extent that their wares 
were shipped to almost every part of the world. This firm continued the 
business for thirty years, when it was merged into a joint stock com- 
pany, now known as the Peekskill Plow works. 

The foundries now in operation are The People's Stove Works, 
(Southard, Robertson & Co.), the Union Stove Works, (Hill's), 
National Stove Works (Stanford's), the foundry of Montross, Lent & 
Pollock, the American Stove Works, and the Peekskill Manufacturing 
Company, (Seymour's). In brisk seasons these shops employ from 400 
to 600 men. 

Besides the foundries above enumerated, the most of which have ex- 
tensive warerooms in New York city, there are located in the village 
and its immediate vicinity, the Machine works of Anderson Brothers, 
the Highland Chemical Works, the Force Table and Oil Cloth Manu- 
facturing Co., Binney's Lamp Black Factory, the Annsville Wire Mills, 
the Oregon Paper Mills, a Manufactory of Drain Tiles and Hageman's 
Soap Factory. 

The Peekskill Blast Furnace is located on Annsville creek, and is 
connected with the Croft iron mines by a railway built for the purpose, 
by which the furnace is supplied with a superior quality of iron ore at a 


comparatively small expense. These works have been idle during the 
past winter, but are expected to resume operations in a short time. 

Located within the town of Cortlandt and drawing a large portion of 
their supplies from Peekskill, are a number of brick yards, employing 
a large force of men and making the best brick in market. The one 
nearest the village is situated on Lent's Flats. This is owned and oc- 
cupied by Charles D. Southard, employing about thirty men and pay- 
ing out over $10,000 per season. 

Near the centre of the village stands the Westchester Bank. This 
institution was first established in Peekskill in 1833, with a capital of 
$200,000, and the late General Pierre Van Cortlandt elected its first 
president. It is at present in a flourishing condition, and like the old 
hills of Westchester, has so far stood firm and unmoved amid trouble- 
some times. The stock has sold at almost as great an advance as ever 
the United States Bank stock did. The bank declared its first dividend 
six months after its establishment. The bills used to contain a beauti- 
sul vignette representing the capture of Andre by the three farmers of 
Westchester County; besides a neat engraving of the Hon. Pierre Van 
Cortlandt, first Lieutenant-Governor of the State. There is also a bust 
of this individual in the bank, presented by his son the late Gen. Pierre 
Van Cortlandt. 

A short distance below the town is situated the property of Captain 
Jas. Requa, a lineal descendant of Daniel, who emigrated from La Ro. 
chelle in France, to New Rochelle in this county and afterwards pur- 
chased a farm on the Hudson a little south of Tarrytown. 

The house is pleasantly located on rising ground overlooking the Al- 
bany and New York Post Road and commands beautiful views of the 
surrounding country. In one of the upper rooms the visitor is shown 
some ancient portraits in crayon, of the Huggeford or Hugeford family, 
viz: — Peter Huggeford, M.D., born and educated in England and one of 
the most accomplished physicians of his day in this country. He prac- 
tised in Rye as early as 1753; and is last mentioned in 1772; he subse- 
quently removed to the Manor of Cortlandt and was probably (says Dr. 
Fisher) the first regular physician in the north-western portion of West- 
chester county. Being a royalist he retired to the British army when 
war was declared. His fine farm of two hundred acres was confiscated, 
and subsequently given by the government to John Paulding for his ser- 
vices as one of the three distinguished captors of Andre, the British spy. 
The property is now ownedby Jacob Strang. He was buried in St. Peter's 
church-yard at Peekskill, notwithstanding that his gravestone is still to 
be seen in Trinity church-yard, New York. A portrait of Elizabeth 


Gedney, his wife, aged 53 years, was painted Feb. 27, 1783, and she is 
interred in Trinity church-yard, New York. 

Dr. John Huggeford of New York, son of the above, died during the 
prevalance of the yellow fever there; with his brother Peter Hug- 
geford, also a physician, aged 56, was painted by William Williams. 
Major William Lainey Huggeford, painted Feb. 23, 1783. He is 
represented in a red coat turned up with blue, black cravat, hair pow- 
dered, tied with cue; he was a noted partisan officer and was the second 
man to scale the walls of Fort Montgomery. He died quite young in 
Nova Scotia. His wife Charity, who died in 1807, is buried at Harrison. 
The family were all staunch members of the Episcopal Church. After 
the close of the Revolution some of them returned to this country and 
settled at Horseneck, Greenwich, Conn. Mrs. Betsey Field, aged over 
eighty-six years, who resides with her brother Capt. Requa, is a grand- 
daughter of the elder Dr. Peter Huggeford. A grand-daughter of Dr. 
John Huggeford is now living at Northampton, Mass. 

South-east of Peekskill is the " Mount Florence House," formerly the 
residence of D. H. Craig, at one time one of the most beautiful places 
in the county. 

The Manor of Cortlandt formerly included three wards or precincts, 
viz: — "Cortlandt, Gertrude's boro' or Hanover and Salem, commonly 
called east, middle and west wards of Cortlandt Manor. While under the 
royal charter of 1697, the mesne lands were possessed of the impropria- 
tion and the patronage of all and every the church and churches erected 
or to be erected in the manor." 

The earliest records relating to the history of this parish, now accessi- 
ble, are principally to be found in the MSS. of the venerable society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel. From these documents it appears 
that as early as 1744, the Rev. James Wetmore, of Rye, performed di- 
vine service at Peekskill. Writing to the society on the 3d of April, 
1746, he says: — "That as there are great numbers of people in the wil- 
derness northward of Bedford and Westchester, who have very little 
knowledge or sense of religion, Mr. Lamson's labors will be employed 
to good purpose among them." In 176 1 Mr. Dibble of Stamford, Conn., 
officiated here, where he informs us "he found no settled teacher of 
any denomination, but met several heads of families, professors of the 
Church of England, and many others well disposed towards it." Mr. 
St. George Talbot, who accompanied Mr. Dibble on this occasion, 
writing to the society, says: — "The state of religion I truly found de- 
plorable enough, they were as sheep without a shepherd, a prey to va- 
rious sectaries, and enthusiastic lay teachers; there are many well wish- 


ers and professors of the Church among them, who doth not hear the 
liturgy in several years." 

It appears from the following indenture that as early as 1750, Andrew 
Johnson, Esq., of Perth Amboy, East Jersey, the son-in-law of De Heer 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, conveyed in trust to Caleb Hall, Joseph 
Travis and Palatiah Hawes, six acres of land to promote the erection of 
a Church edifice. The conveyance bears date 23d of March, 1750, and 
is as follows : — 


' ' Andrew Johnson of Perth Amboy, East Jersey, party of the first part, for 
the value of five pounds, conveys to Caleb Hall, Joseph Travis and Palatiah 
Haws, parties of the second part, a parcel of land lying at a place called Peek- 
skill, being a part of lot No. 8, beginning at the north-east corner of the second par- 
cel of land lately purchased by Joseph Taylor, by the north side of Crumpond 
road, containing six acres, &c. , to have and to hold in trust for a school and 
burying place, and also for their executors and successors in trust, to the only 
proper use, benefit and behoof and exercise of the public worship of God ; and 
that it be for that purpose in the erecting and building of a meeting house or 
houses for the religious, (under the pi-otection of our most gracious Majesty,) 
either the Church of England, Presbyterian, Independents, Baptists or Congre- 
gational, &c, to erect and build a house for the religious exercise of public wor- 
ship of God, with a convenient yard thereto, for each or either of the above 
written denominations, to them the said Caleb Hall, &c , their heirs and suc- 
cessors, in trust for the neighbourhood and inhabitants round about from gener- 
ation to generation for ever , and for no other use, purpose or intent whatso- 
ever. "« 

Yet no building appears to have been begun until 1766, when Beverly 
Robinson, Jeremiah Drake, Caleb Ward, Isaac Hatfield and Charles 
Moore were appointed trustees (by certain subscribers, both in Cortlaridt's 
manor and the lower end of Philipse's upper patent, towards the erect- 
ing of a church,) for directing and carrying on a building, and for secur- 
ing it to the inhabitants as a place of public worship, according to the 
establishment of the Church of England. This edifice, which was sub- 
sequently dedicated to the service of Almighty God, by the Rev. John 
Ogilvie, D.D., on the 9th of August, 1767, is the present parish church 
of St. Peter's, which stands upon the summit of a high knoll directly east 
of the late General Pierre Van Cortlandt's residence. 

Upon the 18th of August, 1770, the members of St. Peter's church, 
in the manor of Cortlandt, and the lower part of Philipse's patent, re- 
ceived (in answer to their petition presented on the 21st of March,) the 

a County Rec. Lib. H. 339. The original document was in the possession of the late James 
Brown of Peekskill. • 


following charter from Governor Colden, erecting them into one body 
corporate and politic, and confirming them in possession of the above 
mentioned church, " the ground whereon the same was built, and the 
cemetery belonging to the same." 


"George the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, 
King, Defender of the Faith, &c, to all to whom these presents shall come, 
greeting: Whereas, our loving subjects, Beverly Robinson, Charles Moore, 
Jeremiah Drake, Caleb Ward, John Johnson , Joshua Nelson, Thomas Daven- 
port and Henry Purdy, on behalf of themselves and sundry inhabitants on the 
upper part of the manor of Cortlandt, and the lower part of Philipse's patent, 
in communion of*the Church of England as by law established, by their humble 
petition, presented on the 21st day of March now last past, to our trusty and well 
beloved Cadwallader Colden, Esq., our Lieutenant-Governor and Commander- 
in-chief of our Province of New York and the territories depending thereon in 
America, in Council, did set forth that the petitioners have at a great expense 
and trouble erected a convenient house for a place of divine worship near Peek- 
skill, to be according to the Church of England as by law established, and being 
very desirious of promoting the same, and settling a minister among them, did 
humbly conceive that if our said Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-chief 
would be pleased to take the matter into consideration, and to grant them a 
charter with such priviliges, immunities and conditions as our said Lieutenant- 
Governor and Commander-in-chief should see fit, and that the said Beverly Rob- 
inson and Charles Moore may be appointed church-wardens, and the said Jere- 
miah Drake, Caleb Ward, John Johnson, Joshua Nelson, Thomas Davenport and 
Henry Purdy, vestrymen, in the charter, by the name of the church-wardens and 
vestrymen of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill. No 
one being willing to encourage the pious intentions of our said loving subjects, 
and to grant this their reasonable request, know ye, that of our especial grace, 
certain knowledge and mere motion, we have ordained, given, granted and de- 
clared, and by these presents for us, our heirs 'and successors, do ordain, give, 
grant and declare, that the said petitioners and such other person and persons, 
and their successors for ever, as now are or shall hereafter from time to time 
be, as well of the Church of England as by law established, as members of the 
congregation of the said church in the herein above recited petition, called St. 
Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, and also contributors 
to the support and maintenance of a minister of the Church of England as by 
law established, to officiate in the said church for the time being, shall, with the 
rector of the said Church of St. Peter's for the time being, forever hereafter be 
one body corporate and politic, in deed, fact and name, by the name, style and 
title of the rector and members of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, 
near Peekskill. And them and their successors by the same name, we do by 
these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, really and fully make, erect, 
create and constitute one body politic and corporate in deed, fact and name, for 
ever, and will give, grant and ordain that they and their successors, the rector 
and members of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peek- 


skill, by the same name shall and may have perpetual succession, and shall and 
may be capable in law to sue and be sued, impleade and be impleaded, answer 
and be answered unto, defend and be defended in all courts and elsewhere in all 
manner of actions, suits, complaints, pleas, causes, matters and demands what- 
soever, as fully and amply as any our liege subjects of our said province of New 
York may or can sue or be sued, impleade or be impleaded, defend or be de- 
fended, by any lawful ways or means whatsoever; and that they and their 
successors by the same name shall be forever hereafter capable and able in the 
law to purchase, take, hold, receive and enjoy any messuages, tenements, houses 
and real estate whatsoever in fee simple, for term of life or lives, or in any 
other manner ho-w soever for the use of the said church; and also any goods, 
chattels, or personal estate whatsoever, provided always that the clear yearly 
value of the said real estate (exclusive of the said church and the ground where- 
on the same is built , and the cemetery belonging to the same) doth not at any 
time exceed the sum of one thousand pounds cm-rent money of our said Province ; 
and that they and their successors, by the same name, shall have full power and 
authority to give, grant, sell, lease and dispose of the same real estate for life or 
lives, or years, or forever, under certain yearly rents, and all goods, chattels and 
personal estale whatsoever at their will and pleasure. And that it shall and may be 
lawful for them and their successors to have and use a common seal. And our 
will and pleasure further is, and we do hereby for us, our heirs and successors, ordain 
and appoint that there shall be forever hereafter belonging to the said church, one 
rector of the Church of England as by law established, duly qualified for the cure 
of souls, two churchwardens and six vestrymen, who shall conduct and man- 
age the affairs and business of the said church and corporation in manner as 
hereafter is declared and appointed ; and for the more immediate carrying into 
execution our royal will and pleasure herein, we do hereby assign, constitute and 
appoint Beverly Robinson and Charles Moore to be the present church-wardens, 
and Jeremiah Drake, Caleb Ward, John Johnson, Joshua Nelson, Thomas 
Davenport and Henry Purdy to be the present vestrymen of the said church, 
who shall hold, possess and enjoy their said respective offices until Tuesday in 
Easter week now next ensuing ; and for the keeping up the succession in the 
said offices, our royal will and pleasure is, and we do hereby establish, direct and 
require, that on the said Tuesday in Easter week, now next ensuing, and yearly 
and every year thereafter for ever, on Tuesday, in Easter week, in every year, 
the rector and members of St. Peter's church, in the manner of Cortlandt, near 
Peekskill, shall meet at the said church, and there by the majority of voices of 
such of them as shall so meet, elect and choose two of their members to be 
church-wardens, and six others of their members to be vestrymen of the said 
church for the ensuing year, which said church-wardens and vestrymen so elect- 
ed and chosen shall enter upon their respective offices and hold, exercise and 
enjoy the same respectively from the time of such elections, for and during the 
space of one year, and until other fit persons shall be elected and chosen in their 
respective places ; and in case the church-wardens or vestrymen, or either of 
them, by these presents named and appointed, or who shall be hereafter elected 
or chosen by virtue of these presents, shall die before the time of their respec- 
tive appointed services shall be expired, or refuse or neglect to act in the office 
for which he or they is or are herein nominated and appointed, or whereunto he 


or they shall or may be so elected sen, then our royal will and pleasure 

is, and we do hereby direct, ordain and require the rector and members of St. 
Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, for the time being do 

at the. said church, and choose other or others of their members, in the 
lead of him or them so dying, or negl< cting or refusing to act within 
thirty days next after such contingency. And in this case for the more due and 
ciderly conducting the said elections, and to prevent any undue proceedings 
therein, we do hereby give full power and authority to ordain and require that 
the rector and the said church-wardens of the said church, for the time being, or 
any two of them, shall appoint the time for such election and elections, and that 
the rector of said church, or in his absence, one of the said church- wardens for 
the time being, shall give public notice thereof by publishing the same at the 
s: id church immediately after divine service, on the Sunday next preceeding the 

'pointed for such elections ; hereby giving and granting that .«uch person 
or persons as shall be so chosen from time to time by the rector and I 
St. Peter's church, in the manor of Courtlandt, near Peekskill, or the majority of 
such of them as shall in such case meet in manner hereby directed, shall have. 
hold, exercise and enjoy such, the office or offices to which he or they .<!:;. !1 be 
elected and choosen, from the time of such elections until the Tuesday in Easter 
week thereon next ensuing, and until other or others be lawfully chosen in his or 
their place and stead, as fully and amply as the person or persons in • 
he or they shall be chosen, might or could have done by virtue of these presents. 
And we do hereby will and direct that this method shall forever hereafter lie 
used for the filling up all vacancies that shall happen in either the said offices 
between the annual elections above directed. And our royal will and pleasure 
further is, and we do hereby for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant, 
that as well the church-wardens and vestrymen to these presents nominal 
appointed as such, as shall from time to time be hereafter elected and i 
as is herein directed, shall have and they are hereby invested with full power 
and authority to execute their several and respective offices in as full and ample 
manner as any church-wardens or vestrymen in that part of our kingdom of 
Great Britain called England, or in this our province of New York can or law- 
fully may execute their said respective offices. And further our royal will 
and pleasure is, and we do, by these presents, for us. our heirs and successors, 
give, grant, ordain and appoint, that the rector and the said church way ! 

id church for the time being, or any two of them, shall and may from time 
to time, as occasion may require, summon and call together at such day and 

as they shall think proper, the said rector, churchwardens and vestrymen 
for the time being, to meet in vestry, giving them at least one day's notice 
thereof; and we do hereby require them to meet accordingly. And we do here- 
by id ve, grant, and ordain that the said rector and one of the said church-wardens, 
for the time being at least together with the majority of the said vestrymen of 
the said church for the time being, being met in vestry as above directed, shall 
hereafter have, and they are hereby invested with full power and authority 
by the majority of their voices, to do and execute in the name of the rector 
and members of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, 
■all and singular the powers and authorities herein before given and granted to 
the said rector and members of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, 



near Peekskill, any wise touching or relating to suck lands, messuages and tene- 
ments, real and personal estate whatsoever, as they the said rector. and members 
of said church in the manor of Courtlandt, near Peekskill, shall or may acquire 
for the use of the said church, and also in like manner to order, direct, manage 
and transact the general interest, business and affairs of our said corporation, 
and also shall have full power and authority in like manner to make and ordain 
such rules, orders and ordinances as they shall judge convenient for the good 
government and discipline of the members of the said church ; provided, such 
rules, orders and ordinances be not repugnant to the laws of that part of our 
kingdom of Great Britain called England, or of this our province of New York, 
but as or may be agreeable thereto, and that the same be fairly entered in a book 
or books to be kept for that purpose, and also in like manner to appoint the form 
of the common seal herein before granted, and the same to alter, break, and re- 
make at their discretion, and also in like manner to appoint such office or offi- 
cers as they shall stand in need of, always' provided that the rector of the said 
church for the time being, shall have the sole power of nominating and appoint- 
ing the clCfk to assist him in performing divine service, as also the sexton ; any- 
thing herein before contained to the contraiy in any wise notwithstanding, which 
clerk and sexton shall hold and enjoy their respective offices during the will and 
pleasure of the rector of the said church for the time being. And whereas there 
hath not yet been any minister presented or inducted" to the said church, our 
royal will and pleasure therefore is, that until the said church shall be supplied 
with a minister of the Church of England, as by law established, as is herein 
after mentioned, and also in case of every avoidance of the said church there- 
after, either by the death of the rector thereof or otherwise, that the powers and 
authorities vested in the rector, church-wardens and vestrymen in vestry met as 
above mentioned, shall, until the said church be legally supplied with another 
incumbent, vest in and be executed by the church- wardens of the said church for 
the time being, together with the vestrymen of St. Peter's church, in the manor 
of Cortlandt, near Peekskill ; provided always, the concurrance and consent of 
the major number of the whole vestrymen of the said church for the time being 
be had in every thing that shall in such cases be done by virtue hereof. And we 
do by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant that the 
patronage and advowson of the said church, and the right of presentation there- 
to, shall forever thereafter belong to and appertain, and is hereby vested in the 
church- wardens and vestrymen of the said church for the time being, or the ma- 
jority of them forever, whereof one church-warden shall always be one. And 
further we do by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant 
unto the rector and members of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, 
near Peekskill, and their successors forever, that this our present grant shall be 
deemed, adjudged and construed in all cases most favorably, and for the best 
benefit and advantage of the said rector and members of St. Peter's church, in 
the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, and that this our present grant being 
entered on record, as is hereinafter particularly expressed, shall be good and ef- 
fectual in the law to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever, against 
us, our heirs and successors, according to the true intent and meaning herein be- 
fore declared, notwithstanding the not reciting, or mis-recital, not naming, or 
mis-naming of any the aforesaid franchises, privileges, immunities, offices, or 


other the premises, or any of them ; and although no writ of ad quod damnum 
or other writs, inquisitors or penalties hath or have been, upon this account, had, 
made, issued, or prosecuted. To have and to hold, all and singular, the privil- 
eges, liberties, advantages and immunities hereby granted or meant, mentioned 
or intended so to be, unto them the said rector and members of St. Peter's 
church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, and to their successors for- 
ever. In testimony whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent, 
and the great seal of our said province to be hereunto affixed, and the same to be 
entered on record in our Secretary's office in our city of New York, in one of the 
books of patents there remaining. Witness our said trusty and well beloved 
Cadwallader Colden, Esq., our said Lieutenant Governor, and Commander-in- 
Chief of our said province of New York, and the territories depending thereon in 
America, at our fort in our city of New York, by and with the advice and con- 
sent of our Council for our said province, the 18th day of August in the year of 
our Lord, 1770, and of our reign the 10th"» 

The following minutes relates to the first vestry meeting held under the 
charter: — " September ist, 1770, at a meeting of the church-wardens 
and Vestry of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peek- 
skill ; present, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Charles Moore, wardens ; M. J. 
Johnson, Mr. Caleb Ward, Mr. J. Nelson and Mr. Jeremiah Drake, 
vestrymen. The charter being read, they proceeded to choose Mr. 
John Johnson, clerk for the present year. Resolved, to sett a subscrip- 
tion on foot in favor of Mr. John Doty, and endeavour to settle him as 
our minister. Also, resolved, that although the subscription mentions 
to be paid yearly, yet all those who shall subscribe to ye support of a 
minister, upon their moving out of a place, shall be discharged from 
their subscription, &c." & 

At a meeting held 15th of October, 1770, it was "agreed to give Mr. 
John Doty a call as rector of this church, when he is properly ordained. 
The vestry also preferred a petition to the Society for the propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign parts, for recommending Mr. Doty, and praying 
their assistance for his maintenance. They likewise addressed a letter 
to the Rev. Dr. Barton, Secretary of that body, giving an account of the 
state of the church, and on the same day entered into a bond to the 
Rev. Samuel Auchmuty, D.D., for the payment of ^40 New York 
currency towards the minister's support." The following copies of the 
letter and petition are from the MSS. of the Ven. Society: — 

a Book of Patents, Secretary of State's office, Albany. 
b Vestry book of St. Peter's church, Peekskill, pp. 1, 9. 
c Ditto, pp. 2, 3. 



" Peeks kill, in the Province of New York, in America,\ 

Oct. i$tk, 1770. j 
Rev. Sir: 

Permit us, as wardens and vestrymen for St. Peter's church, to ad- 
dress you, and acquaint you with the steps we have taken for settling a 
church, according to the established Church of England, and to solicit 
your assistance and interest with the Venerable Society, that we may be 
so happy as to be patronized by them, and obtain their charitable assist- 
ance towards maintaining a minister. 

It is about four years since a few of us first attempted to begin the 
building of a church in the Manor of Cortlandt, near Peekskill, in the 
county of Westchester; and on the 9th day of August, 1767, had got it 
so far finished, as to get the favor of the worthy and Rev. Dr. Ogilvie of 
New York, to open and consecrate it, which he did, calling it St. Peter's 
church; and have since (tho' not yet completely finished) made it a 
decent and a comfortable building for performing divine worship in. 
The next step we took, to enable us further to prosecute our design, was 
to apply to his honor, Lieut. Governor Colden for a charter, which he 
was pleased to grant us. Being so far advanced in our undertaking, 
Mr. John Doty, a gentleman educated at King's College in New York, 
offered himself as a candidate for our church, and has performed divine 
service for us most part of last summer; and has given such general 
satisfaction, that we have unanimously agreed to give him a call as soon 
as he is properly ordained, and authorized to peiform the office of a 
minister. And as we are well acquainted with his moral life and con- 
versation, we beg leave to recommend him to the Venerable Society as a 
person worthy of that sacred function, and don't doubt but he will have 
ample testimonials from the worthy clergy of New York, of his educa- 
tion and abilities. We send by Mr. Doty, our petition to the Venera- 
ble Society, a copy of our charter and of our subscription paper for his 
maintenance, which amounts to p£6i, 15s. New York currency, an- 
nually; but as many of the subscribers are very poor, and some of them 
we apprehend will be necessarily obliged to leave the neighborhood, we 
fear it will be difficult to collect some of the subscriptions ; but that Mr. 
Doty may be certain of receiving something, we have given our bond to 
the Rev. Dr. Auchmuty as trustees for the Society, obliging us to pay 
annually to Mr. Doty the sum of £40 currency during his continuance 
amongst us, as our minister, and if the whole subscriptions are received 
it is all to be paid to him. The church is in a very thickly settled coun- 
try, (tho' no kind of public worship is established in the neighborhood) 
yet at present there are but very few that profess to be of the Church of 
England, which makes it fall very heavy upon those few, so heavy, that we 
could not have gone thro' with our undertaking but by entering into an 
agreement with the people on the lower end of Philipse's upper patent, 
in the county of Dutchess, that if they would join in the building of St. 
Peter's church, and in the subscription for the support of a minister, 


that when we obtained a missionary he should be settled for both places, 
so as to make but one congregation of the whole (we wish we could say 
parish for the number) to preach every other Sunday at the house of 
Jacob Mandeville, till such time as we could build a church in that 
neighborhood, so that we humbly request, if we are so happy as to gain 
the Venerable Society's assistance and protection, that Mr. Doty may be 
settled by them as their missionary for both the above mentioned places. 
The churches will not be more than eight miles asunder. It would 
give us great pleasure if we could inform the Venerable Society of our 
having a glebe and parsonage house provided, but that we are sorry to 
say is not yet accomplished. The people that make up our congrega- 
tion are so very poor, that we have been discouraged from attempting 
to purchase a piece of land for that use. But we can nevertheless assure 
the Venerable Society, that from the gracious offer of Mr. Beverly Rob- 
inson, we have not the least doubt of having a very good glebe provided 
within the year. For a more particular account of the manner in which 
we expect to obtain the glebe, we must beg leave to refer you to Mr. 
Doty, who is well acquainted with every circumstance relating thereto. 
We are with the greatest esteem and respect, Rev. Sir, your most 
obedient humble servants, Beverly Robinson, ) -,, , , 

Charles Moore. } Church-wardens. 

For themselves and the rest of the vestry of St. Peter's church."* 


Humbly Sheweth, 

"That your petitioners, in conjunction with the rest of the people 
who from the congregations of the churches aforesaid, having for some 
time labored under the lamentable circumstance of not enjoying an op- 
portunity of publickly worshiping God in the decent and solemn order 
of the established Church of England, whose evangelical doctrine and 
discipline they profess and admire; and being convinced of how great 
utility such a sacred establishment would be, the county being thickly 
inhabited and almost entirely destitute of every kind of public worship, 
towards promoting the salvation of many souls and the prosperity of the 
Church of Christ, have (tho' at present but few in number,) been at the 
expense of building a neat and convenient church, for which they have 
received a charter from his Honour Lieut. Governor Colden. That be- 
ing well satisfied of the character and abilities of Mr. John Doty, a 
gentleman educated at King's College, they have unanimously given 
him a call and agreed, when lie shall be properly ordained by his Lord- 
ship the Bishop of London, or any other English Bishop appointed for 
that purpose, to receive him as their minister for the said St. Peter's 

a New York, ]\'SS. from archives at Fulham, vol. ii, pp. 524-6. (Hawks.) 


church, and also for the neighborhood of Jacob Mandeville, in the lower 
end of Philipse's patent, in Dutchess county, where it is intended to 
build another church to be united as one congregation, and that they 
have cheerfully subscribed to the amount of ^61 15s. New York cur- 
rency, towards supporting him as such. But sensible that such a sum 
is not sufficient for that purpose, and being well assured of the benevo- 
lence and generosity of the Venerable Society, whose readiness upon all 
occasions, as far as possible to favor attempts of this nature has ever 
been deservedly admired, they take the liberty humbly to pray that they 
will appoint Mr. Doty their missionary to the aforesaid places, and to 
grant him such part of their bounty as they shall think proper. 

Your petitioners humbly beg leave to recommend to your favorable 
notice the infant state of St. Peter's church, and to assure you that we 
shall ever esteem it a singular honor and happiness to be in any degree 
patronized by the Society. May heaven ever smile upon and bless your 
laudible endeavors to promote the glory of God; and at the great day 
of accounts crown all your faithful labors here with everlasting happi- 

Sealed by order of the Vestry, this 15th day of Oct., 1770. 

John Johnson, Clerk." a 

The Rev. John Doty, A.M., the first rector of this parish, was the son 
of Joseph Doty of New York, where he was borncirc. i75o. & In 1768 
he was entered at Kings College, where he was admitted B. A. pro forma 
in 1770. During the Summer of that year he officiated in this parish 
as a lay reader, and in the fall went to England for holy orders. His 
license from the Bishop of London, to officiate in this Province, bears 
date Tuesday, the 1st of January, 1771. Soon after his return he ac- 
cepted the call of the vestry, and was thereupon inducted, as appears 
from the following documents: — "On the 8th of June, 1771, it was 
unanimously agreed by the wardens and vestry, that the Rev. John Doty 
be presented to the rectory of St. Peter's church, in the Manor of Cort- 
landt, near Peekskill, and ordered that the wardens do deliver him the 
key of the said church and give him possession according to law." 
Agreeable to the above resolution the church wardens did on the same 
day deliver the key to the said Rev. John Doty, and possession of the 
said church. 

a New York, MSS. from archives at Fulham, vol. ii,pp. 526-7. (Hawks.) 
6 Joseph Doty was a member of the ancient family of the Doughty's or Douteys of Esher, 
Surrey and Boston, Lincolnshire, England. There was a Samuel Doty graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1T33. The arms of this family are :— ar, two bars, between three mullets of six points 
sa. pierced or. " The Rev Samuel Doghty, rector of Sibleston, was a younger brother of the 
polite and politic Mr. Thomas Doughty of Midburn who conformed, and probably the son of 
Mr. Samuel Doughty rector of Bringhurst." Nonconformist memorial, vol. ji, p. 401. 



"I, William Trj^on, Esq. Captain General and Governor-in-Chief in and over 
the Province of New York and the Territories thereon depending in America, 
Chancellor and Vice Admiral of the same, do admit you, John Doty, Clerk, to 
be Rector of this parish, and parish church of St. Peter's, in the manor of Cort- 
landt, near Peekskill, in the County of Westchester, in the said Province, with 
all their rights, members and appurtenances. Given under my hand and the 
prerogative seal of the Province of New York, the 16th day of July, in the year 
of our Lord 1771. William Teton." 



"I, William Try on, Esq. Captain General and Governor-in-Chief in and over 
the Province of New York and the Territories depending thereon in America, 
Chancellor and Vice Admiral of the same, Do institute you John Doty, Clerk, 
to be Rector of the parish of St. Peter's, in the manor of Cortlandt, near Peeks- 
kill, in ye County of Westchester in the said Province, to the care of the souls 
of the parishioners of ye said parish and take your cure and mine. Given under 
my hand and the Provincial seal of the Province of New York, this 16th day of 
July, in the year of our Lord, 1771. William Teyon." 

"Upon which Mr. John Doty, having first produced a certificate to this board 
of his having, in the presence of several witnesses, declared his unfeigned assent and 
consent to the XXXIX Articles of Religion agreed upon by the Archbishops and 
Bishops in the Convention, holden at London, A. D. 1562, and having prefixed 
thereto His Majesties Royal Declaration, after which he was by virtue of certain 
letters mandatory, under the Prerogative seal, in due manner inducted into the 
real, actual and corporeal possession of the Rectory and parish church of St. 
Peter's afforesaid, which letters mandatory, are in the following words, viz : 


" His Excellency William Tryon, Esq. Captain General and Governor-in-Chief 
in and over the Province of New York and the Territories depending thereon in 
America, Chancellor and Vice Admiral of the same, To all and singular, Rectors 
and Parish Ministers whatsoever in the Province of New York, or to the church- 
wardens and vestrymen of the Parish of St. Peter's in the manor of Cortlandt, 
near Peekskill, in the County of Westchester in the said Province, and to each 
and every of you, greeting : Whereas, I have admitted our beloved in Christ, 
John Doty, Clerk, to the Rectory of the parish and parish church of St. Peter's 
in the manor of Courtlandt, near Peekskill, in the county of Westchester, with- 
in this Government, to which the said John Doty was presented by the church- 
wardens and vestrymen of the said parish, the true and undoubted patrons of 
the said parish, vacant, as never having before been supplied by any incumbent ; 
and him the said John Doty, I have instituted into the Rectory of the said parish 


and parish church, with all their rights, members and appurtenances, (observing 
the laws and cannons of right in that behalf required, and to be observed :) To 
you therefore, jointly and severally, I do commit, and firmly enjoining do com- 
mand, each and every of you, that in due manner, him the said John Doty, 
Clerk, or his lawful proctor in his name, or for him, into the real actual and 
corporeal possession of the said Rectory, parish and parish church of St. Peter's, 
and of all the rights and appurtenances whatever to the same belonging, you 
induct or cause to be inducted ; and him so inducted, you do defend ; and of 
what you shall have done in the premises thereof, you do duly certify unto me or 
other competent judges in that behalf, when thereunto you shall be duly required. 
Given under my hand and the Prerogative seal of the Province of New York, 
the 16th day of July, 1771. a William Ttron." 

During this year Governor Tryon also granted a special charter, in 
virtue whereof the vestry held a certain glebe 6 of two hundred acres of 
land given by Colonel Beverly Robinson, senior warden of this parish, 
for the use of the Rector officiating one half of his time at St. Philipse's 
in the Highlands. This property was subsequently sold, as we shall 
have occasion to show, under an order of the Court of Chancery in 183S, 
and equally divided between the two churches. Out of these funds 
(aided by a liberal donation from Trinity Church, New York, amounting 
to $1,000,) the present chapel was erected in the village of Peekskill. 

Beverly Robinson, Esq., the noble benefactor of this parish, was a 
son of the Hon. John Robinson of Virginia, who was president of that 
Colony on the retirement of. Governor Gooch, in 1734. He emigrated 
to New York, and married Susannah, daughter of Frederick Philipse, 
Esq., Lord of the manor of Philipsburgh. By this connection, Mr. 
Robinson became rich. When the Revolutionary controversy com- 
menced, he was living upon that portion of the Philipse estate which 
had been given to his wife, and there he desired to remain in the quiet 
enjoyment of country life, and in the management of this large domain. 
That such was his inclination, is asserted by the late President Dwight, 
and is fully confirmed by circumstances and by his descendants. He 
was opposed to the Measures of the ministry, gave up the use of imported 
merchandise, and clothed himself and his family in fabrics of domestic 
manufacture. But he was also opposed to the separation of the Colonies 
from the mother country. Still, he wished to take no part in the conflict 
of arms ; but importunity of friends overruled his own judgement, and 
he entered the military service of the crown. His standing entitled him 
to high rank. Of the loyal American regiment, raised principally in New 
York by himself, he was accordingly commissioned the colonel. He al- 

es Vestry book. 

& The old church glebe is now the property of Mr. David McCoy. 


so commanded the corps called the 'Guides' and 'Pioneers.' Of the 
former or the loyal Americans, his son Beverly was Lieutenant-Colonel, 
and Thomas Barclay, Major. Besides his active duty in the field. 
Colonel Robinson was employed to conduct several matters of con- 
sequence, and he figures conspicuously in cases of defection from the 
Wilis; cause. 


Col. Beverly Robinson. 

Colonel Robinson at the peace, with a part of his family, went to Eng- 
land. The name appears as a member of the first Council of New 
Brunswick, but he never took his seat at that board. His wife is in- 
cluded in the confiscation act of New York, and the whole estate de- 
rived from her father passed from the family. The value of her interest 
may be estimated from the fact, that the British Government granted 
her husband the sum of ^17,000 sterling, which, though equal to eighty 
thousand dollars, was considered only a partial compensation. After 
going to England, Colonel Robinson lived in retirement. He was un- 
happy, and did not conceal the sufferings which preyed on his spirits. 
He resided at Thornbury, near Bath, and there closed his days in 1792, 
at the age of 69. His sons were, Col. Beverly Robinson of the British 
army, (who died in 1816, at New York while on a visit to his two sons, 
Beverly and Morris, who still continue to reside in that city), Col. Morris 
Robinson of the British army, and Col. John Robinson, speaker of the 
House of Assembly in New Brunswick. a 

a Sabere's Hist, of the Loyalist. 


I .3 I 

We return to the history of the parish. Upon the 23d of March, 
1772, it was resolved by the vestry: — "To go and build Mr. Doty a 
house — also to agree with Jerediah Frost to get the timber, draw the 
same, (viz : the boards and other materials which he may want for the 
said house) to do all the carpenter's and joiner's work, and paint and 
glaze the same for seventy-five pounds." 

Mr. Doty's incumbency here was short, not continuing over two years. 
From this place he removed to Schenectady, as appears by the following 
extract from the abstract of the Ven. Prop. Society for 1773 : — " At the 
request of the church-wardens and vestry of Schenectady, the Rev. Mr. 
Doty, a gentleman educated at King's College, New York, and ordained 
sometime since for St. Peter's, at Peekskill, is appointed to succeed the 
Rev. Wm. Andrews, -with the former salary." The Society, however, 
were greatly displeased at his removal, and through their secretary in- 
formed him, " That the circumstances under which he left his congrega- 
tion at Peekskill do not raise him in the opinion of the Society, to whom 
his conduct, in that particular, hath been reported to his disadvantage, and 
as an act of ingratitude. " a He remained at Schenectady until 1777, when 
he removed to Canada, being obliged to sell his furniture to obtain the 
means of transportation. 6 " In 1775, ( sa ys Dr. O'Callaghan) divine ser- 
vice was suspended in his church, on account of the troubles, and he 
himself became the object of much harsh treatment. He was taken 
prisoner twice, and at length deemed it prudent, in the fall of 1777, to 
apply for liberty to remove to Canada, which he obtained. He there- 
upon proceeded to Montreal, where he was appointed chaplain to his 
Majesty's royal regiment of New York. Here he continued until Octo- 
ber, 1781, when he repaired to England. He returned to Canada 12th 
of June, 1784, having been appointed missionary at Sorel. Here, for 
the first four weeks, he performed divine service in the Roman Catholic 
church, and afterwards in the barracks, where he resided. A place of 
worship was, however, afterwards erected, and Mr. Doty continued mis- 
sionary at this place until 1793." "It is with concern, (says the Society) 
that it has received information that they are deprived of the useful 
services of this worthy missionary, (Mr. John Doty) by his removal into 
his native country, to take charge of St. Anne's church, at Brooklyn, on 
Long Island, in the Province of New York." (abstracts of 1794.) His 
connection with this church must, however, have been brief; for his 
name occurs again in 1796, on the Society's list as missionary at Sorel, 

a Copied from the original letter in the possession of the Eev. Wm. Payne, rector of St. 
George's church, Schenectady. 

6 Fowler's MSS. Biographies of the Clergy, p. 411, 533. 


whether he must have returned the previous year. He finally resigned 
his mission in 1803, when his connection with the Society for Propagat- 
ing the Gospel ceased altogether." 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Doty, the vestry must have adopted 
measures for obtaining the services of another minister; for on the 18th 
of September, 1775, it was resolved by that body, "to set on foot a sub- 
scription towards the support of the Rev. Bennet Page, during his preach- 
ing at St. Peter's church, at Peekskill." This individual was probably 
the Rev. Bernard Page, A. M., who was licensed by the Bishop of Lon- 
don, August 24th, 1772, appointed to Wyoming parish, Pennsylvania, 
from whence he removed to this Province. Mr. Page does not appear 
to have officiated here very long ; and no doubt left in consequence of 
the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. Several persons of this name 
were graduates of Harvard University, and staunch loyalists. After 
this, religious services were suspended in the parish, and no clergyman 
was called or settled for nearly seventeen years. Seated near the Hud- 
son river, the village of Peekskill suffered a great deal from the in- 
roads of the enemy ; who frequently came out-from New York in con- 
siderable force. In September, 1777, the whole place was sacked and 
burnt, and the neighboring country pillaged by them. 

At the close of the war (the principal members of the church having 
removed from the parish) the Presbyterians took advantage of the dis- 
sentions then existing, bysattempting to seize the church and glebe, and, 
under the act of 1784,* choosing trustees, who it seems were all of one 
persuasion. But these nefarious schemes were happily frustrated, and 
the church finally incorporated under the old title. 

According to a notice of this event given by the Rev. Andrew Fowler, 
in the year 1793, we learn: — "That three or four years ago the Presby- 
terians made an attempt to take the church and glebe by force; they 
called the church by a new name ' Union Church] and in order to carry 
their schemes they chose one half of the trustees as they said, out of the 
church. The truth is they had once professed themselves Episcopalians; 
but most of them have since proved themselves to be rank Dissenters, 
which the Presbyterians no doubt knew." These facts were recorded in 
consequence of Mr. Silas Constant (a Presbyterian minister) having ap- 
plied to the vestry for liberty to preach in the church. The latter, how- 
ever, referred the matter to Mr. Fowler, who very improperly granted the 
request. It appears that only a short time previous to this Mr. Fowler 
had obtained the use of Mr. Constant's pulpit at Yorktown. Fourteen 

a Entitled an act to enable all Religious Denominations in the State to appoint trustees. 


years afterwards, however, when the latter again applied for the • same 
object, the vestry took a much firmer stand, voting as follows: — "That 
leave cannot be granted to the Rev. Mr. Constant to preach in the 
church of St. Peter's consistent, with the canons of the Church." a 

According to notice given on Monday, 5th of April, 1790, being Mon- 
day in Easter week, (the day appointed by charter for choosing officers 
for St. Peter's church, in the Manor of Cortlandt and St. Philip's chapel 
in the Highlands,) the following persons were elected for the ensuing 
year, viz: Wm. Dunning and Caleb Ward, church- wardens; Joshua 
Nelson, James Spock, Richard A. Arnold, Caleb Morgan, Silvanus 
Haight and Jarvis Dusenbury, vestrymen. Upon the 24th of Novem- 
ber, 1 79 1, the vestry "agreed to pay the sum of ^20 for the support of 
David Lamson, to read service in St.. Peter's church, at Peekskill and 
St. Philip's chapel in the Highlands, until the first of April next; and it 
is further agreed that Joshua Nelson and Silvanus Haight, shall furnish 
him with necessarys agreeable to a person of his station, during said 

The first incorporation of this church subsequent to the Revolution, 
took place 26th of April, 1791, under the style and title of the corpora- 
tion of St. Peter's church, Peekskill, and St. Philip's chapel in the 
Highlands. Joshua Nelson, Richard Arundell, Silvanus Haight, James 
Spock, Jarvis Dusenbury, vestry of St. Peter's church, Peekskill. First 
trustees, Wm. Ward, Caleb Ward, James Spock, Silvanus Haight, Caleb 
Morgan, Joshua Nelson, Richard Arundell, Jarvis Dusenbury. Signed 
1 6th December, 1791.^ 

The parish remained destitute of stated services until 1792, when the 
vestry called the Rev. Andrew Fowler. He was the son of Andrew 
Fowler, a lineal descendant of John Fowler one of the original planters 
of Guilford, Conn., in 1639 or 1640, by his wife Martha Stone, and was 
born at Guilford, 10th of June, 1760. He graduated A.B. at Yale in 
1783, and received his A.M. degree in 1793.° In 1784, he had charge 
of a school at New Rochelle, and the year following was chosen the first 
delegate from the parish to the Diocesan Convention. To his exer- 
tions, under God, the church in this county is justly indebted ; for at the 
close of the Revolutionary war, he collected the dispersed congregations 
at Rye, White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, in the capacity of a 
lay reader. In 1788, he was recommended to the Bishop for holy 

a Vestry minutes, April 25, 1807. 
b Religious Soc. Lib. A. 26 

c " Andrew Fowler born in Guilford Aug., 1728, and died Oct., 1815. Martha Stone, born 
Aug., 1737, died 1794. Child, Rev. Andrew Fowler, born in Guilford, June 10, 1760, died 
Dec. 29, 1850, in Charleston, 8. C. The eldest of twelve children. Rec. of Guilford, Conn. 


orders, and was ordained Deacon by Bishop Provoost, in the month of 
June, 17S9, and Priest on the 1 8th day of the same month, 1790. He 
commenced his labors as a preacher of the gospel over the united par- 
ishes of Brookhaven, Huntington and Oyster Bay, L. I. He remained 
there but two year's, when he was called, as we have seen, to the rector- 
ship of this parish. Upon the 7th of August, 1792, the vestry agreed 
with the Rev. Andrew Fowler, to officiate as rector, and to pay him for 
his services the sum of ,£70." They also agreed " to put him in pos- 
session of the glebe farm, from the first day of May next." 

The same year Mr. Dunning, senior warden of the parish, certified to 
the Diocesan Convention, "that possession had been procured of the 
parsonage house and glebe, belonging to the churches of St. Philip's at 
the Highlands, and St. Peter's, near Peekskill. That they had given a 
call to the Rev. Mr. Fowler, and had provided for his support ; and that 
the people seemed much pleased with having the gospel once more 
preached, and divine service performed according to the Protestant 
Episcopal Church." At a vestry meeting held January 3d, 1793, it was 
resolved: — "That the Rev. Mr. Fowler shall be inducted according to 
the mode of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, now in use, 
into the rectory of St. Peter's church, in the manor of Cortlandt, and 
St. Philip's chapel, in Phillipstown, now in connection together, and that 
the induction into St. Peter's shall be made on Sunday, the 6th of next 
January; and the induction of St. Philip's chapel, whenever conven- 
ience will permit." Upon the 4th of January, 1794, the thanks of the 
vestry were given to Pierre Van Cortlandt for the great pains he had 
taken at the Legislature of this State, to obtain a title for the glebe be- 
longing to the united churches. Mr. Fowler resigned the charge of this 
parish in 1794, and subsequently removed to Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, where he died December 29th, 1850, at the advanced age of ninety. 
The following notice of his death appeared in the Cale?idar for March 
1st, 1851: — 

"The Charleston Gospel Messenger for February, contains an 
obituary notice from which we extract the following particulars: — 
'It may be truly said of the departed he was a great missionary. In 
five or more of our Dioceses he officiated for more or less time; but the 
greater part of his ministerial life, that is about forty years, was passed in 
South Carolina. He was the first missionary of our 'Advancement Socie- 
ty,' and first missionary of the 'Society for Missions of young men and 
others,' instituted in Charleston; which was intended to act out of the 
Diocese, the elder Society being trusted within the Diocese, and which 
continued until the ' General Missionary Society' superceded the occa- 
sion of it. The churches now flourishing in Columbia, Choran, St. 


Augustin, (Florida,) and Wadesborough, at Charleston, were planted by 
him. The old parishes of St. Bartholomew's Edisto Island, and Christ 
church, each of them for several years found the benefit of his ministra- 

" Few more industrious men, physically, mentally and socially, have 
ever lived. 'These hands' he could truly say, ' have . ministered to my 
necessities, and those who were with me.' Into the garden, the field, 
the orchard, the vineyard and the forest, he went — not for recreation, or 
to gain wealth, but to supply the deficiency of an inadequate salary; for 
he coveted no man's silver or gold, or apparel. 

"More contentment, with the allotments of Divine Providence ; more 
cheerfulness in narrow circumstances ; more confidence in God, as re- 
spected himself and family ; more meekness in his intercourse with men ; 
more resignation in sickness, sightlessness, adversity, bereavement and 
the last conflict, I have not witnessed. I might specify incidents known 
to several present. To one only I will advert : — " He had a son in- 
tended for Holy Orders, much care was bestowed and expense (in- 
volving serious self-denial) incurred on his education. It was finished 
with credit at one of our chief colleges. The youth was now com- 
petent to provide for himself, and was just about to become a can- 
didate for the ministry; but he (at that time the only son) died. It 
was a trial, met by his aged father in the temper of faithful Abra- 
ham, and with the resignation of holy Job. On the Feast of St. 
Thomas the Holy Communion was administered to our friend, and 
on the Sunday after Christmas he departed, as we trust, to be ever 
with the Lord, aged ninety years and seven months." 

The Rev. Samuel Haskell succeeded Mr. Fowler, and continued minis- 
ter of the parish until 1798. For two or three years the parish was again 
vacant. During this period another attempt appears to have been made to 
obtain possession of the church by a Mr. Palmer and others; for at 
a vestry meeting held on the 6th of November, 1801, it was ordered: 
— " That the doors of the churches (St. Peter's and St. Philip's) be shut 
against Mr. Palmer for the future." In the year 1803, Mr. James 
Mandeville paid the wardens and vestrymen for " one year's rent of 
the parsonage farm, ending 15th of April, £$$; and to one year's 
rent of the church land, situated round the church at Peekskill £i." a 
The latter must refer to the cemetery which was confirmed to the church 
by the royal charter of 1770. Occasional services were performed at 
this time by the New York clergy; for on the 20th of May, 1804, 
Mr. James Mandeville charges the vestry with the expenses, " paid 
by him, for keeping of the Rev. Messrs. Cooper and Wilkins, £6 12.'' 

In 1806, the Rev. Joseph Warren was called to be rector of the 

a Vestry minutes. The Baptist meeting house must have stood near St. Peter's church, for 
on the " 20th of March, 1S05. Joseph Ferris was appointed to put up the division fence be- 
tween the church yards of the Episcopal and Baptist Churches." 


united parishes of St. Peter's, Cortlandt, and St. Philip's, Philipstown. 
The next year he makes report to the Diocesan Convention, for the 
two churches, of ten communicants. He was succeeded by the Rev. 
John Urquhart, who entered upon his duties as minister of the united 
parishes in i8og, a and resigned in December, 18 14, whereupon the 
" Rev. Adam Empie and the Rev. John Brown were selected to supply 
the vacant congregations at Peekskill and Philipstown." The following 
year the Rev. Adam Empie (chaplain and professor in the military 
Academy at West Point) reported : — " That in compliance with the 
appointments made at the last Convention he has performed divine ser- 
vices, and preached two Sundays at Philipstown and two Sundays at 
Peekskill; in each of which place he administered the Holy Com- 
munion, of the advantages of which they had for more than two 
years been deprived." The Rev. Petrus S. Ten Broeck, Deacon, re- 
siding in New York, succeeded Mr. Urquhart in 18 17. In the fall of 
1 8 1 6 he reported to the Convention, " That the congregations at Fish 
skill, Philipstown and Peekskill, have been in a depressed state in con- 
sequence of having been destitute of the regular services of a clergy- 
man for some time past ; the two last particularly, which have been 
longest destitute. 6 They now appear to be rising from their depres- 
sion." For the successors of Mr. Ten Broeck see list of rectors. 

At a vestry meeting held January 4th, 1828, Pierre Van Cortlandt, 
James Wiley and John Oppie were appointed a committee to rent the 
glebe farm, and also to petition the Chancellor for leave to sell the 
same, &c. Permission was accordingly granted on the 10th of Novem- 
ber, 1828, and on the 20th of October, 1838, the glebe was sold for the 
sum of five thousand dollars. On the 18th of April, 1840, (in answer to 
an application of the wardens and vestrymen of St. Peter's church and 
St. Philip's chapel,) an act was passed by the Legislature of this State, 
authorizing a separation of said church and chapel. 

In 1829 an organization was formed in the village of Peekskill by the 
name of St. Paul's church, rf which continued until 1840, when the above 
mentioned act of the Legislature took effect, and the present corpora- 
tion was formed under the title of " St. Peter's church, Cortlandt, in the 
village of Peekskill." 

a Jacob Lent was allowed $25 in 180S-9, for reading services in bom churches. 

b The vestery on February 22d, 1817, "refused to allow the Independent Congregation to 
occupy a part of the church and further consideration." 

e This application appears to have been made without a formal meeting of the vestry. 

d The Rev. Edward J. Ives in his report to the Diocesan Convention of 1S29, says : " A new 
congregation has also been organized in the village of Peekskill, who contemplate the erection 
of a new church as soon as their pecuniary resources shall be enlarged, being now insufficient 
to carry their good object into effect." 


St. Peter's Church and the Tomb of Paulding. 

The old parochial church of St. Peter's (a venerable relic of the piety 
of its founders, worthy of preservation, and which, connected as it is 
with the early Provincial history of the church in this country, we hope 
to see ere long put in creditable repair" ) stands upon the summit of a 
high knoll, a short distance from the village of Peekskill. This humble 
structure was erected, as we have seen in the year 1766. The site and 
adjoining grave-yard were the gift of Catherine Van Cortlandt, wife of 
Andrew Johnson, and daughter cf the Rt. Hon. Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt, first Lord of the manor cf Cortlandt. The following entry occurs 
in the old quarto Bible belonging to this church, printed A. D. 1728: — 

"The gift of Mrs. Susannah Robinson, to St. Peter's church, at Peek- 
skill, which church was by the desire of Beverly Robinson, Esq., Messrs. 
Jeremiah Blake, Caleb Ward, Isaac Hatfield and Charles Moore, trus- 
tees, appointed by the subscribers to said church for directing and carry- 
ing on said building, and for securing it to the inhabitants as a place of 
public worship, according to the establishment of the Church of England, 
on Sunday the 9th of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and sixty-seven, being the eighth Sunday after Trinity, 
consecrated by the Rev. Dr. John Ogilvie of New York, for the service 
of the Holy Trinity, according to the rites and ceremonies cf the Church 
of England, as by law established, by the name of St. Peter's church." 

Mrs. Robinson, (the wife of Col. Beverly Robinson,) was the eldest 
daughter of the Hon. Frederick Philipse, second Lord of the manor cf 

a In 1828 it was voted, " that the sum of $40 be apnropriated for the repairs of St. Peter's 
church and yard, under the direction of James Mandevilie, John Oppie and Daniel W. Bnd- 


Phillipsburgh, by his wife Joanna Brockholes, and devisee with her 
brother Philip Philipse, of Philipse's patent in the Highlands. Mrs. 
Robinson, as we have seen, was included with her husband in the con- 
fiscation act of New York, and at the peace accompanied him to Eng- 
land. She died at Thombury, near Bath, in 1822, at the age of ninety- 

The chapel of St. Peter's, which was erected in 1838,* as auxiliary to 
the mother church, is a handsome gothic structure of wood, situated 
near the centre of the village of Peekskill. The interior, which is hand- 
somely fitted up, contains a neat chancel and gallery. Against the 
north wall is placed a marble tablet inscribed as follows: — 

M. S. 

Ann Stephenson, 

The affectionate and beloved wife of 


of this township and county, 

who departed this life at Albany, March 20th, 1821, 

translated by God to a kingdom of happiness and gjory, 

aged 46 years, 6 months and 16 days. 

Early instructed by her pious mother in the doctrines and principles of the 
Gospel, this excellent woman became exemplary as a communicant of the Church 
when only thirteen years old, and continuing to be a sincere and humble follower 
of her Saviour, even unto her life's end, was endeared to all who knew her by 
her Christian virtues, and for a pure and devoted attachment to Christ's Holy 
and Apostolic Church, and to the members of this congregation, who as a 
memorial of her worth and mark of respect for her venerable consort and her 
only son, benefactors of this parish, have erected this tablet. 

Requiescat in Pace. 

There is a noble and deep toned bell in the tower, which summons 
the parishioners every Lord's day to the house of prayer by its rich and 
solemn sounds. "This was a gift in every way worthy of the venerable 
individual whose name is graven upon it, the late Gen. Pierre Van Cort- 
landt, for many years senior warden, to whose family the parish is not 
only indebted for the original grant of land upon which the mother 
church stands, but for other and more recent favors." It weighs one 
thousand and eighty-five pounds, and bears the following inscription: — 
"Cast by G. W. Holbrook, East Medway, Mass., 1841. Presented to 
St. Peter's church, Peekskill, Westchester County, New York, by Gen- 
eral Pierre Van Cortlandt, August 29th, 1841." The marble font was 

a Tlie deed for the church lot, from Ward B. Howard and Lucia his wife, bears date 23d of 
December, 1S29. 


the gift of his son Colonel Pierre Van Cortlandt. The organ pre- 
sented by the ladies of the parish in 1849, was also built by the 
Messrs. Holbrook & Co., and cost twelve hundred dollars. The corner 
stone of this edifice, which was organized under the title of St. Paul's 
church, in 1829, was laid by Bishop Onderdonk in 1838 ; and upon Sat- 
urday, June 1 6th, of that year, it was consecrated and set apart to the 
worship and service of Almighty God, under the title of "St, Peter's 
chapel, &c," by the same Prelate. 

The site of this church was formerly occupied by the military maga- 
zine, destroyed by the British army in 1777. Large quantities of grape 
shot have been found in the immediate vicinity. Adjoining the building 
on the south, is situated the family vault of the late Ward B. Howard, 
Esq., at one time president of the village corporation, in which repose 
the mortal remains of himself and wife Lucia, daughter of the late Hon. 
Robert Johnston, who died Mar. 8th, 1834. Also the remains of their 
nephew, William J. Mitchell, Esq., who was unfortunately killed by the 
explosion of the steamer General Jackson, off Verplanck's Point, June 
7*, 1 83 1. 

The church was first incorporated 19th July, 1838, under the title of 
the " Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Peter's chapel, in the village of 
Peekskill," on which occasion Pierre Van Cortlandt and Samuel Marks, 
were elected wardens, and Daniel D. Smith, Samuel T. Wood, John 
Collett, Elihu E. Baker, Alex Fairly, Wm. B. Birdsall, Nicholas Cruger 
and Isaac Seymour, vestrymen. a 

A third incorporation occurs under the title of St. Peter's church of 
Cortlandt," 28th August, iS4o. & 


Catherine Van Cortlandt, Col. Beverly Robinson and Susannah 
Phiiipse, his wife, the Ven Propagation Society, Andrew Johnson, Gen. 
Pierre Van Cortlandt, Col. Pierre Van. Cortlandt, Nicholas Cruger, Esq., 
Isaac Seymour, Esq., Col. John Williams and the Corporation of Trinity 
church, New York." 

William Dunning and Jarvis Dusenbury were the first delegates from 
this parish to the Diocesan Convention in 1791. 

a Religious Societies Lib. B. p. 56. 
5 Ditto Lib. B. p. 60. 

c Trinity Church in 1T9T presented the sum of 8750 to St. Peter's church. In 1807, $1,250 for 
St, Peter's ana St. Philip's. In 1826, $750. In 1837, $250, and in 1839, $1,000. Total $1,000. 



6L Peter's Ciurch, PeeKsMIL 




16 July, 1771, 
18 Sept. 

7 Aug. 

15 Dec. 
7 Apr. 

17 Apr. 

11 June, 1817, 
29 May, 1826, 

Dec, 1832, 

Apr., 1838, 

3 Mar., 1841, 

7 June, 1843, 

25 Apr., 1848, 

12 Oct., 1854, 
5 Dec , 1863, 
1 Oct., 1865, . 

10 Feb., 1869, 

16 Sept. 1873, 

Vacated. Patrons. 

Rev. John Doty, CI., A. M., E esi 

Rev. Bernard Page, CL, A. M., 
Rev. Andrew Fowler, Presb ., 
Rev. Samuel Haskell, B. A., Presb., 
Rev. Joseph Warren, Presb., 
Rev. John Urquhart, Presb., 
Rev. Petrus S. Ten Broeck,« Presb., 
Rev. Edward J. Ives, Presb.. 
Rev. James Sunderland, Presb. 
Rev. William C. Cooley, A.M., Presb., 
Rev. Moses Marcus, & B. A., Presb. 
Rev. William Barlow," Presb., 
Rev. George S. Gordon, Presb., 
Rev. Edmund Roberts, Presb., 
Rev. John Rutherford Mathews, Presb., 
Rev. Erskine M. Rodman, Presb. , 
Rev. Francis Harison, Presb. 
Rev. William Fisher Lewis, Presb., present rector. 

and Vestry. 

The assistant minister of the parish is the Rev. H. M. Torbert, who 
is also chaplain at St. Gabriel's School. This school is under the charge 

a Died at North Andover, Mass., Jan. 24, 1849. Rector of St. Paul's, Portland, Me., from 
ISIS to 1831. From 1831 to 183T, rector of Saccacappa, when he removed to Concord, N. H., 
where he officiated until about 1841. 

b Died at Egremont Place, New Road, London, Enjrland, Nov. 2G, 1S52. His last parochial 
connection, in this country, was with the church of St. George the Martyr, in New York City. 

c Died at Chicago, 111., Feb. 24, 1850. He had been rector of St. Paul's in Syracuse and 
subsequently of Ogdensburgh. 


of the sisters of St. Mary who have admirably succeeded by great per- 
sonal exertion in making practical the idea, of a female boarding 
school, where solid attainments, correct notions of woman's exact position 
in society, and a healthy growth of mind, heart and body can be attained 
to the exclusion of more pretentious accomplishments; finery in dress 
and that abominable theory that woman is a mere ornament of society." 
The sisters have two other schools in the United States, one in New York 
and one in Memphis, Tenn." " The designs of these schools is to offer 
to Church people, and all who wish to have their daughters grow up in 
the doctrines of a true religious faith, an opportunity at the smallest 
cost, to obtain a thorough education." Surrounded by the old parochial 
Church of St. Peter's is an extensive grave yard containing memorials to 
the Penoyers, Wards, Drakes, Ferris's, &c, &c. The oldest interment 
appears to have been Mary, wife of John Ward, who died on the 15th of 
September, 1765, in the 69th year of age. 

One of the tomb stones is inscribed with the following expressive 
sentence : 

"•Eternity how long!" 

There is also a small enclosure belonging to the Birdsall family. 

Among the illustrious dead interred here, may be mentioned Major- 
General Seth Pomeroy, one of the heroes of Bunker Hill. 

On the west side of the grave yard is situated the monument of John 

The following is the report of the select committee, appointed in pur- 
suance of a resolution of the board of common council, passed the 4th 
day of December, 1826, during the mayoralty of the Honorable Philip 
Hone directing a monument to be erected to the memory of John Pauld- 
ing, one of the captors of the British spy, Andre. 

Your committee engaged Messrs. Francis and James Kain, to erect a 
monument of white marble, the materials of which were procured from 
their quarry, in the county of Westchester. It is of the most simple 
form, consisting of a pedestal, surmounted by a cone, showing an eleva- 
tion of thirteen feet ; the whole composed of the most massive materials, 
and fastened with iron cramps in such a manner as to resist the severity 
of the climate for ages to come. 

The base of the monument covers a square of seven feet, surrounded 
by an iron railing, four feet in height, and two feet seven inches distant, 
inserted in a marble coping fourteen inches broad, comprehending a 
square of twelve feet two inches. 

One side of the monument exhibits a facsimile of the face of the 
medal, voted by the Congress of the United States to each of the captors 


of Andre, on the third day of November, seventeen hundred and eighty; 
the other of its reverse, both carved in bas relief. 

On the front of the pedestal is the following inscription : 

Here repose the mortal remains of 


who died on the 18th day of February, 1818, 

in the 60th year of his age. 

On the morning of the 23d of September, 1780, 

Accompanied by two young Farmers of the Co. of Westchester, 

(Whose names will one day be recorded 

On their own deserved monuments,) 

He intercepted the British spy, Andre : 

Poor Himself 

He disdained to acquire wealth by the sacrifice of 


Rejecting the temptation of great rewards 

He conveyed his prisoner to the American camp ; 


By this act of noble self-denial, 

The treason of Arnold was detected, 

The designs of the enemy baffled ; 

"West Point and the American Army saved ; 

And these United States, 

Now by the grace of God. Free and Independent, 

Rescued from most imminent peril. 

The fourth side of the pedestal bears the following inscription : 


Of the City of New York, 

Erected this Tomb, 

As memorial Sacred to 


The whole being completed with the exception of placing the cone on 
the pedestal, on the morning of the twenty -second of November, eight- 
een hundred and twenty-seven, the corporation proceeded in the steam- 
boat Sandusky, to Peekskill, where they arrived at one o'clock, and 
were met by the Committee of Arrangements, and a large concourse of 

a Generals Pierre van Cortlandt anil Philip van Cortlandt, "Daniel W. Birdsall, St. John Con- 
stant, Ward B. Howard, Benjamin Dyckinan, Doctor Peter Goetchius, James Mandeville, and 
Doctor Samuel Strang. 


J 43 

the inhabitants of Westchester County, who had come to assist in the 
last honors, to the memory of their fellow citizen. Among them were 
many aged and venerable men, who passed through , the perils of the 
revolution and shared its dangers with the deceased. 

A procession was formed to the church yard, where the monument 
stands, about two and a half miles from the village of Peekskill; and the 
column being lowered to its place on the pedestal, William Paulding, 
mayor of the city of New York, addressed the assembled citizens as fol- 
lows : 

My Friends: — History bears testimony to the importance of the act we are 
here assembled to commemorate. The capture of Andre, while it prevented the 
most fatal disasters, and led to the most signal results, afforded at the same time 
a memorable example of the fidelity and patriotism of the yeomanry of these 
United States. As such it has always been viewed, and will appear in the eyes 
of posterity one of the most honorable achievements of our great revolutionary 

It was in the year seventeen hundred and eighty. 

There is not an aged man here present, but must remember that gloomy and 
disastrous period, when, if ever, the freedom of our country was almost a des- 
perate hope. The money, the credit, the men, the means, and I may almost 
say, the sentiment necessary for continuing the great contest, were either qu:te 
exhausted, or fast melting away. 

Hardship, ill success, and a miserable scarcity of every necessary of life, had 
checked present exertion, and produced almost a hopelessness of the future. Our 
little army, the last reliance of the country, was cooped up at West Point, almost 
the last refuge of liberty remaining. Had that army, with its illustrious com- 
mander, been treacherously surrendered, and that strong-hold given up to the 
enemy, the communication between Canada and New York, then in his posses- 
sion, would have been open — the North and the South could no longer have co- 
operated with each other — the spirit of our people had been broken — the last 
stay of freedom destroyed, and the last ray of hope perhaps extinguished. What 
the final issue might have been, God only knows ; but we all know, the con- 
sequences would have shaken our good cause to its- foundation. A plan for 
this purpose was agitated — matured — almost consummated by the treason of 
Arnold. To you it is not necessary to detail the particulars of this infamous and 
dangerous project, so familiar to the memory and hearts of our people. I see 
among you many venerable and aged men who bore a part in the struggle, and 
shared in the hardships, anxieties, dangers and sufferings of those dismal times. 
I see at the head of these, a faithful and gallant officer, still happily and honor- 
ably surviving to enjoy that invaluable freedom which his own efforts con- 
tributed to secure. « I see, too, among them one who was himself a companion 
and sharer in the virtuous act by which these imminent dangers were averted. } 

If you wish for the story of this high achievement of honest, unpretending 

a General Philip van Cortlandt. 
& Isaac van Wart. 


patriotism, ask it of him. He will tell it in such a way, as shall neither wrong 
the living or the dead. He will tell you of the capture of Andre, who from a 
spy, was elevated by a false estimate and a mistaken sympathy, into a hero and 

a martyr — of the temptations which had corrupted the second man in the nation's 
estimation, being rejected by the sons of the farmers of Westchester — of the de- 
livery of the spy into the hands of the great good man of the age — of modern 
times -of all times whatever, and of their receiving his glorious approbation— of 
the applauses of the nation — and the thanks of that most illustrious body, the old 
Congress of the United States — the noblest? reward which was ever bestowed on 
a private citizen. Lastly, my friends, he will tell you what a source of honest 
pride — of heart-felt pleasure — of unutterable happiness has been to him, and will 
be to the last hour of his life, the reflection that he did his duty to his country in 
her hour of peril. 

My Friends : — The man to whose mouldering remains and imperishable 
memory we are now paying the last honors, was born and brought up among us. 
Like many now present, he was the son of a plain country farmer, who culti- 
vated his own fields with his own hands : and he received such an education 
only, as is now within the reach of every honest man's son in these United States, 
He had nothing to boast of but a vigorous, active, well -proportioned frame, a 
daring spirit, and an honest heart. His means and opportunities were only such 
as j^ou all enjoy; and his example furnishes a lesson to you all, of what every 
one of you is capable of becoming, when the hour of danger arrives, and our 
country requires the aid of a virtuous patriotism. He is most peculiarly an ex- 
ample to you and yours. He belongs forever to the yeomanry of the United 
States, a class of men always honest and patriotic — always ready to defend that 
soil in whose products they share so liberally, and those rights in which they so 
amply participate. 

Bear then in mind, my friends, and impress it on the hearts of your children, 
and upon all that shall nestle in old age under your withered branches, that as all 
are equally called upon to protect and defend their country, so there is not one 
of them all but may one day be placed in a situation like John Paulding, to con- 
fer a lasting benefit on his country, and like him, to merit and receive the highest 
and noblest of all earthly recompenses — the thanks and gratitude of his country- 

The assembly then separated, deeply impressed with the ceremony and the 
occasion. All which is respectfully submitted, 

Abrm. M. Valentine, 
John Ac-new, 
John Loziee, 
Gideon Ostkander, 
Jameson Cox. 

The Dutch Reformed Church which stands at the corner of Main and 
James streets, is a neat wooden edifice, surmounted with a spire of the 
same material. Above the entrance is a tablet inscribed: — 

The Van Nest 

Reformed Dutch Church, 

Founded A. D. 1839. 


A union between this church and the old society at Cortlandt-town ' 
was effected August 2 2d, 1833. Abraham Van Nest and George Doug- 
lass, Esquires, appear to have been liberal benefactors towards the erec- 
tion of this church. A silver communion service was also presented by 
the former individual. The first Reformed Dutch church located in this 
village, stood on the hill west of the Episcopal church, adjoining the 
Diven property. Nothing remains at present to mark its site, save a 
small enclosure containing a few interments. In this cemetery is a plain 
marble monument to the memory of Lieut. George McChain, which 
bears the following truly clasical inscription, composed by the Hon. R. 
R. Pray, Chancellor of the State of Mississippi : — 


Near this stone lie the remains of 

George McChain 

Lieutenant in the sixth regiment of the 

United States Infantry, and distinguished 

for his valor in the battles of Chippeway and 

Bridgewater. In him were united the energy 

of the soldier, with the easy politeness of the 

gentleman. Impressed with the great truths 

of religion, he was. hospitable, gentle, sober, just, 

and contemplative. From the ardoui of his 
love of country, he early devoted himself to her 
service, where he was brave without vanity, and 

magnanimous without ostentation. To 

perpetuate the memory of so beloved a character, 

his mourning friends have erected this humble stone, 

a frail memorial of their veneration for his virtues, 

and a faint testimony of their grief for a misfortune, 

alas ! indelibly engraven on their hearts. 

He died on the 19th day of October, 1818, 

Aged 32 years. 

Also monuments to the memory of his father John McChain, one of 
the Westchester guides in the revolutionary war, and the Rev. Allen 
Blair, who departed this life June 14, aged 72 years; also, Jane, wife 
of St. John Constant, who died April 2, 181 7. 

The Van Nest Reformed Dutch Church in Peekskill, was incorpora- 
ted on the 3d of January, 1843, and called by the above name, "in con- 
sideration of the private virtues and public liberality of Abraham Van 
Nest of New York." The 1 consistory also resolved to confide the man- 
agement to a board of nine trustees. The following gentlemen were 
elected to this office, on the 16th of January, 1843: — James Goetchius, 
William Leavins, John P. Cruger, Washington S. Whitney, J. Henry 
Ferris, Thomas Nelson, Hercules Lent, Charles A. G. Depew and N. 


S. Jacobs.* The present pastor, Rev. John B. Thompson, was installed 
23d of July, 1S73. 

The First Presbyterian church is situated on South street near the 
south side of Magregaries brook. It is a neat wooden structure, surmount- 
ed with a tower and spire ; the former contains a large bell and 
clock. As early as 1799 a church edifice was erected upon this spot, 
upon lands devoted by Nathaniel Brown, a Friend. " To the Presbyterians 
of the belief of Dr. Rodgers of New York," with James Diver, John 
Oppie and Stephen Brown, trustees. The principal benefactors of the 
church were Stephen Brown and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Hannah Brewer. 
Dr. James Brewer, of this place, during his life time, had in his posses- 
sion an account of monies expended by Messrs. Samuel Haight and 
Stephen Brown, in building the meeting-house in Peekskill. Total ex- 
penditure ^371 8s, id, Dated Peekskill, 13th Sept., 1799. 

Samuel Haight.) ^ 

o -r, 7 1 rustees. 

Stephen Brown, j 

About the year 18 13 a division in the church at Yorktown, then un- 
der the pastoral care of Rev. Silas Constant, gave rise to the organiza- 
tion known as the Independent church. The Independent Presbyterian 
congregation of Peekskill was incorporated on September 29th, 1813,^ 
with John Lent, John Constant and Samuel Strang, as trustees. The 
building in which they worshipped, was familiarly known as the " church 
on the hill," and situated near the residence of the late Charles A. Lee, 
M. D., on Diven street, was taken down about 1844." 

The first Presbyterian ministry of which we have any authentic record 
was that of the celebrated William Tennent, who labored in East Ches- 
ter and Bedford for some months between the years 17 18 and 1721," but 
there is no proof that he ever officiated here. Some years later, Rev. 
Samuel Sackett was sent by the Presbytery of New Brunswick to preach 
in West Chester County. The special field of labor assigned him was 
Cortlandt Manor, embracing Yorktown, Cortlandtown, North Salem and 
Somers. There is little doubt that he preached occasionally in this vil- 
lage. His ministry of forty-two years (i742-'84) was chiefly confined to 
Yorktown and Bedford." " He died on the fifth day of July, 1784, at 
the age of seventy-two years," and was buried in the cemetery of Crom- 
pond or Yorktown. 

"The Rev. Abner Brundage, who came to Peekskill in May, 181 5, 
s<-iys that there were at that time in the village, from Mr. John Oppie's, 

a Relig, Soe. Lib. B. SO, 82. 

b Co. Ilec. Religious Soc. Lib. a. pp. 102, 1S8. 


where Mr. John W. Hait now lives, to Captain Requa's, just one 
hundred buildings of all kinds. At that time the Presbyterians had two 
places of worship, one on South street, where the first Presbyterian 
church now stands, the other on the hill north of Main street, to which 
we have already alluded, but no organization. In May, 1816, a church 
of seventy-five members was formed, with Mr. Brundage as pastor, and 
John Lent, deacon, and Ezra Lockwood, as officers; when Mr. Brundage 
resigned his charge in 181 9, the church numbered over a hundred mem- 
bers. Some years later the influence of a large congregational element 
from Connecticut gave great dissatisfaction to some who preferred the 
faith and government of the Presbyterian church, and in 1826 a division 
took place. Those who remained were finally merged into the Dutch 
Reformed Church. Those who withdrew founded the present Presby- 
terian Society." We give the details of the organization in the words 
of the first entry that appears upon the record of the session : 

" The Presbyterian church in the town of Peekskill was organized 
June 25th, in the year of our Lord 1826, by the Rev. Elihu W. Baldwin, 
of the Presbytery of New York, according to the book of discipline of 
the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America." It consisted 
at the time of its organization of sixteen members, viz : Benjamin 
Illingworth, an Elder of the Presbyterian church in Yorktown, with a 
letter of dismission from the same; Daniel Merritt, Nancy Conklin, 
Elizabeth Oakley, Elizabeth Campbell, Ann Conklin, Caroline Strang, 
Mahala Gilbert, Rebecca Hawes, Maria Jones, Jemima Brown, Sarah 
Dusenberry, Mary Oakley, Rachel Buskirk, Ann Budd and Susan Shaw, 
being a succession of members from the Independent Congregational 
church in Peekskill. Benjamin Illingworth and Daniel Merritt were elect- 
ed elders." " In October of the same year, the church became connected 
with the Presbytery of New York, and at the same time extended a call 
to the Rev. John PI. Leggett, then a member of the Second Presbytery 
of New York. The call was accepted and Mr. Leggett was installed 
first pastor of this church on December 14th, 1826. This pastorate 
continued three years, and was marked by a gradual increase in the 
number of communicants. Ten were added to the church under his 
ministry, seven on profession of faith and three by certificate, making a 
total of twenty-six; which was reduced to twenty-four by the death of one 
member, and the dismissal of another. Mr. Leggett died on the 31st 
day of May, 1873. 

In 1829 the Presbytery of Bedford was organized and the church at 
Peekskill fell under its care, but soon obtained permission to return to 
the Presbytery of New York. 


The next pastor was the Rev. William Marshall, a native of Scotland, 
who entered upon his duties in the spring of 183 1. His pastorate 
ceased in the fall of 1843. During his ministry the church was trans- 
ferred by Synod from the Presbytery of New York, to the second Pres- 
bytery of New York. The total membership at the close of his ministry 
was thirty-four. Mr. Marshall died in October, 1865. To his ability 
and faithfulness, Dr. Halliday, his successor, bears this testimony: — 
"Few men have led a more blameless life, a life of more exemplary pie- 
ty. He had the respect and the affectionate regard of all his brethren 
in the ministry. They looked upon him as one of the best, and in some 
respects, as one of the most gifted among them. While he was not 
popular as a preacher, he was yet an able and excellent sermonizer. 
He had great strength and fertility of mind, and many of his written dis- 
courses are marked by decided intellectual superiority. He was an 
evangelical preacher. He preached plain truth. He dwelt much on 
the great cardinal doctrines of the Bible, apportioning them and apply- 
ing them with wisdom and with unction. He was not left without wit- 
ness. The leaven of his influence was felt, and is still felt for good in 
this church. Its growth and prosperity are (under God), due in some 
considerable measure to his labors." 

During the ministry of Mr. Marshall, unfortunate dissensions sprung 
up in the church, which resulted, in 1841, in the withdrawal of nine 
members, who, together with two members from the second Congrega- 
tional church of New London, Conn., were organized into a church on 
Nov. 17th, 1841, by the Presbytery of North River, and became the sec- 
ond Presbyterian church of Peekskill, in connection with the New School 
assembly. They began public worship on Sunday, Nov. 21st, 1841, in 
the old Methodist church on South street. Services were conducted by 
the Rev. Daniel Brown. Within a few years a church edifice was erec- 
ted and was dedicated on April 9th, 1845. In 1870, the building was 
enlarged and rebuilt. 

Soon after the resignation of Mr. Marshall a call was extended by the 
First church to Rev. D. M. Halliday, then pastor of a large and flourish- 
ing church at Danville, Pa. The call was accepted by him, and on 
Nov. 1st, 1843, he was installed by a committee of the Second Presby- 
tery of New York." "In 1846 the original church edifice, then nearly 
half a century old, was removed to make way for another of twice its 
size. Twelve years later, in 1S58, an extension of thirty feet, including 
the present lecture room, was added — making the present dimensions 
forty feet by ninety, instead of forty by sixty. The dimensions of the 
original edifice, were thirty by forty." 


Dr. Halliday's pastorate was of unusual length, extending over a 
period of twenty-four years. The membership had increased five fold 
to what it had been. Mr. Halliday was compelled by the impaired 
state of his health to resign Oct. 20th, 1867, and is now residing at 
Princeton, N. J. 

For some time after the resignation of Dr. Halliday, the pulpit re- 
mained vacant; finally, in April, 1868, Rev. John N. Freeman, then a 
student in Princeton Theological Seminary, was tendered a unanimous 
call, which he accepted — and on the 14th day of May, following, he was 
ordained and installed by the Second Presbytery of New York. 

After a pastorate of nearly eight years, Mr. Freeman resigned Jan. 
5th, 1876, and was dismissed to the Presbytery of Niagara, and not long 
after was installed pastor of the church at Lockport, New York. 

On the 10th day of April, 1876, a call was presented to the present 
pastor, the Rev. J. Ritchie Smith, who was installed on the 26th day of 
June, 1876. 

This church, since 21st day of June, 1870, has remained under the 
care of the Presbytery of Westchester. 

Toward the close of Mr. Haliday's ministry, a lot had been secured 
immediately opposite the church, at a cost of $3,750, for the erection 
of a parsonage. In the spring of 1870, the building was completed, at 
an additional cost of $9,8oo,*and is considered one of the handsomest 
and most convenient mansions along the line of the river. 

The fiftieth anniversary of the organization of this church v/as cele- 
brated on Sunday, June 25th, 1876, on which occasion an historical dis- 
course was delivered by the Rev. J. Ritchie Smith, pastor elect." 

In the cemetery adjoining the church, are monuments to Capt. Isaac 
Conklin, who departed this life, January 13th, 1815, aged 68 years; 
Zebulon Philips and Samuel Strang, M. D., and others. There are also 
inclosures belonging to the Brown, Bedle and Rundle families, in which 
numerous interments have been made. 

The second Presbyterian church of Peekskill, is located on the cor- 
ner of South and Union streets. This society was organized Nov. 17th, 
1 841, and the first structure was erected A. D. 1845, and dedicated to 
the service of God, 9th of April, 1845; the society was incorporated by 
its present name, July 29th, 1846. In 1870 the church edifice was en- 
larged and rebuilt. The first pastor was the Rev. Daniel Brown, who 
was installed May 4th, 1842, and who died November 8th, 1846, and 
was succeeded by the Rev. Livingston Willard, April 15th, 1847. 

a For much of the foregoing history of this church, we are greatly indebted to the semi- 
centennial anniversary of the Presbyterian church of Peekskill, N. T., by Rev. 'J. Pdtchie 
Smith. Printed at Peekskill, N. Y. The Highland Democratic Steam Print, 18T6. 


The Baptist society must have been established here at an early date ; 
this appears from the following document, entitled an agreement made 
the 17th day of December, A. D. 1772, by and between the subscribers, 
as follows, to wit : — 

"Whereas the society of people called Baptists, by way of voluntary subscrip- 
tion, have lately erected and built a house of public worship at or near a place 
called Peekskill, in the manor of Cortlandt, and as there is not as j r et a sufficient 
sum of money raised to pay for the building said house, we the subscribers do 
agree upon and appoint Caleb Hall, cf the said manor of Cortlandt, to hire a sum 
of money sufficient to pay the deficiency; and we jointly and severally promise 
and oblige ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, to pay to the said 
Caleb Hall, his executors or administrators, one equal part of the sum that he 
shall so hire, according to the proportion of our first subscription : Provided 
that if there shall be money raised by way of subscription, sufficient to pay the 
cost laid out in building said house, that the money so hired shall be paid out of 
the same. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands. 
Caleb Hall, Sen., John Poun, 

Isaac Horton, Sen., Joshua Horton, 

Daniel Hall, Caleb Hall, Jr., 

Richard Williams, Nathan Browu, 

Nathan Elliott, Oliver Yeomans. 

The first Baptist church stood near Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt's, 
directly on the spot now occupied by the district school-house. 

The present society was organized in 1843, under the style and title 
of the First Baptist Church of I'eekskill. The meeting-house, which is 
valued at $3,400, was erected August, 1847, and dedicated the 8th of 
April, 1847, to the service cf Almighty God. On this occasion the 
Rev. W. R. Williams, D.D., delivered the dedicatory sermon. This 
church belongs to the senior Baptist association. Upon the 31st of 
October, 1S43, the Rev. Edward Conover, was duly elected pastor; this 
individual was succeeded, November 25, 1844, by the Rev. C. C. Wil- 
liams. The present pastor is the Rev. P. Buel, who commenced his 
ministrations 23d August, 1846. The communicants belonging to this 
church average forty. 

The Baptist burying-ground is situated north of the Episcopal yard. 
Here is a memorial to Caleb Hall, who died October 1st, 1791, aged 91 
years, beside other monuments. 

The Methodist Episcopal church in Peekskill, was first incorporated 
2d August, 1808; Bethune Washburne, Gilbert Weeks and John Spock, 
trustees.* The Methodist society must have been in existence, how- 
ever, sometime previous to the above incorporation; for on the 26th of 

a Religious Soc. Lib. A. p, 102 


February, 1795, we find John Drake and Catharine, his wife, conveying 
three-quarters of an acre of land in this place to William Hallock, 
Thomas Clark, William Weeks, Abraham Travis and Stephen Newby, 
managers of the Methodist society. The present church edifice, erected 
A.D., 1837, occupies the site of a still older building, erected in 181 1 : 
to it is attached a small grave-yard. The communicants of this church 
number two hundred. 

The Protestant Methodist society was first established here in 1827, 
and incorporated 23d November, 1836; John Spock, William R. Steel 
and Thomas Blackney, trustees." 

The Wesleyan or Primitive Methodists originally belonged to the old 
Methodist society, from which body they seceded in 1839. Their first 
pastor was the Rev. John Miles. The church edifice was erected in 
1839, and incorporated A.D. 1842. 

The society of Friends was first organized here in 1804, and the old- 
est house erected in 181 1, upon land given for that purpose by Nathan- 
iel Brown, Esq. 

The Roman Catholic church of the assumption stands at the corner 
of Union and First streets, the pastor of which is the Rev. Father 
William P. Flannelly. The Roman Catholic Institutions are the Fran- 
ciscan Convent, which was established about nine years ago, and is sit- 
uated on the banks of the Hudson near the Rail Road Depot. At pres- 
ent there are about thirty sisters connected with the institution, who con- 
duct a school known at the Academy of Our Lady of Angels. The object 
of the community is teaching the children of the poor and caring for 
he sick. The grounds are tastefully laid out and the improvements con- 
sist of a chapel and new convent, the cost of which was about $30,000. 

The Poland farm was purchased by the directors of the Roman Cath- 
olic Orphan Asylum with money devised by Captain Boland for the 
purpose of providing a country home for orphan children, and to remain 
under the same management as the asylum in New York city. The 
object of the institution is to maintain and instruct the children until 
suitable homes are found for them. The farm is located on the 
Cortlandtville road, on the outskirts of the village, and the improve- 
ments consist of a large brick building for class-room, domitories, work- 
room, etc. The amount of the bequest was $50,000. 

Mount Florence was purchased by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd 
for the purpose of establishing a novitiate for their order. The number 
of sisters is at present seven. This novitiate is intended for the training 

a Eeligious Soc Lib. B. p. 47. 


of sisters for their future labor in caring for and reforming those of their 
own sex who have fallen from virtue. 

One of the most interesting objects in the village of Peekskill, is the 
old Birdsall residence, situated directly opposite the Bank. This house, 
during the American Revolution, was occupied occasionally by General 
Washington as head-quarters when the army happened to be stationed 
here. In this time honored mansion the visitor is still shown the sleep- 
ing apartments of Washington, and his noble companion in arms — La 
Fayette. The furniture occupies nearly the same position as at that 
day, and the old clock still marks the passing hour as it did seventy- 
seven years ago. The colored woman who waited upon the illustrious 
visitors, died in 1844. The Rev. George Whitfield also preached in one 
of the parlors. 

The Village landing is pleasantly situated at the foot of a high bank, 
commanding a fine view of Peekskill Bay, the Dunderbarrach, Rahway 
Hook, and the entrance to the Highlands ; directly opposite is Cald- 
well's Landing, in Rockland county, with which the Westchester shore 
is connected by a ferry. Across this ferry the American troops were 
frequently transported during the Revolution. In the vicinity of the 
landing there was formerly a silver mine in operation; the following 
register of its discovery occurs in the Secretary of State's office : 

No 8 Name of Discoverer. In which County. Recorded. Book. Page. 
Gilbert Weeks. W. C. Co., town of March 16, 26. 190. 

Cortlandt, within a 1796. 
quarter of a mile of 
Peekskill Landing, 
on the north side of 
McGregory's brook 
silver ore. 

Numerous minerals are also found in this neighborhood, such as 
Epidote, Garnet, &c. Sphene is said to have been discovered near 
Peekskill in an aggregate of quartz. Sulphate of barytes exists in the 
region of Anthony's Nose. 

Gregory's brook (sometimes called Magrigarie's creek,) rises in Mag- 
rigarie's pond, a few miles east of the village. This rapid stream, after 
flowing through a deep and wooded glen, empties into the Hudson near 
the landing place. 

The romantic hills which abound in the immediate vicinity of Peek- 
skill are many of them connected with stirring events during the revolu- 
tionary war. Among the most prominent is Gallows Hill, famous as the 
spot where the spy Palmer was executed by order of General Putnam, 



whose laconic reply to Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander, 
deserves an enduring record. It appears that Clinton had sent up a flag 
of truce from New York, demanding the release of Edmund Palmer, his 
lieutenant, who had been detected as a spy in the American camp. The 
brief and emphatic answer of Putnam runs thus : 

"Head Quarters, 7th August, 1777. 

" Sir : Edmund Palmer, an officer in the enemy's service, was taken 
as a spy lurking within the American lines. He has been tried as a 
spy, condemned as a spy, and shall be executed as a spy ; and the flag 
is ordered to depart immediately. Israel Putnam." 

" P. S. — He has been accordingly executed." 

From this circumstance the hill derived its present appellation. The 
story of Palmer's sad fate is thus graphically described in the republican 
paper of Peekskill : — 

' ' In the summer of the year 1780, and for some time preceding and following, 
on the southern and eastern sides of the hill, and along the rich valley which lies 
at its base, was quartered a division of the American army under the command 
of Gen. Putnam. Disaffection and treachery prevailed on every side ; men there 
were who from fear or from other base causes, refused to take part on the side of 
virtue and patriotism, and remained as neutrals, wavering between each party, 
and acting as their personal safety seemed most to require. Many, calling them- 
selves Whigs, were constantly endeavoring by covert means to blast the hopes 
and discourage the gallant few who were struggling at the side of liberty, by 
giving to their enemies that information of their situation and prospects which 
they had obtained by the most abject treachery. To destroy these evils required 
the greatest vigilance and severity on the part of the American commander. 
Early one mornimg, in the month of August, a party of the militia, three in 
number, brought a young man by the name of Palmer, whom they had taken on 
suspicion of his being a spy and having enlisting orders from Tryon, the British 
general then commanding in New York. The enormity of his offence was such ; 
that if proved, it demanded the most vigorous punishment. A court martial was 
therefore immediately convened, and from the circumstances given to the court 
by those who arrested him, and the evidence of many of the country people, who 
gave an unfavorable account of his conduct, he was convicted and sentenced to 
be executed as a spy. 

"The prisoner was a young man of athletic form, and possessed elegant attain- 
ments, had a wife and children then residing in Yorktown, the place of his nativity, 
and was connected with some of the most respectable families of West Chester. 
The most urgent intercessions were immediately made to obtain his release, but 
in vain ; the stern justice of Putnam was not to be overcome by any feelings of 
pity. The British general wrote a letter to the American commander, demand- 
ing his prisoner, and threatening him with vengeance if a compliance with his 
demand was not immediately acceded to ; but he received for answer that the 
prisoner was " taken as a spy, tried as a spy, convicted as a spy, and that he 
should be hung as a spy." Here the matter rested until the morning previous to 


his execution, when the wife of Palmer presented herself before the command- 
ing officer in his tent. She had come there with her child in her arms, to throw 
herself with humble submission at the foot of the man who byword, she thought, 
could relieve her aching heart of its load of misery. In the artless and winning 
eloquence of a bursting heart, she represented to him the awful situation in 
which she would be placed should the fearful sentence that had been passed up- 
on her husband be carried into effect. She implored him, by every tie of affec- 
tion that bound two young hearts together — for the sake of the infant she pressed 
to her bosom, who, if left fatherless, would wander through the world disgraced 
and an orphan — by his own feelings as a father and a husband, to have mercy 
on him who was all to her the world could bestow. Her tears, her deep dis- 
tress and her passionate exclamations fell deep into the heart of the war-worn 
soldier ; but they did not alter his stern resolve. With a dignity of purpose and 
a countenance that told how intense were the feelings then glowing within him, 
he told her he must die. Insensible she was carried from his presence and con- 
veyed back to her friends. The following morning, at the hour appointed for 
his execution, on an enclosed spot of ground near the summit, on the eastern side 
of the hill, was seen a gallows rudely constructed of logs, with a rope appended 
hereto. The trees and fences were filled with men, women and children who 
had come far and near to witness the awful scene ; and the prisoner was led out 
to the appointed spot where his last view of the world was taken, and prepare 
his mind for its sudden transit into eternity. It is but just to say, that whether 
hung guilty or innocent, he met his fate with the fortitude of a man. The body, 
after being suspended a suitable time, was taken down and given to his friends 
for interment." 

Such is the story of Gallows Hill. The sad fabric of logs which had 
been raised for his execution remained standing for several years after 
the war, an object of dread and superstition to the more ignorant of the 
country people whose daily avocations compelled them to pass it. a 

The summit of Gallows Hill embraces a fine view of the river, the 
scenery of the race and surrounding country. The remains of Fort Look 
Out are situated on the adjoining hill. During the revolutionary con- 
test, the village of Peekskill appears to have suffered severely from the 
enemy's incursions. " Before the British army took the field, for the 
third campaign of 1777, (says Mr. Smith) two enterprizes for the de- 
struction of American stores were undertaken. Col. Bird landed with 
about 500 men at Peekskill, March 23, fifty miles from New York. The 
few Americans who were stationed as a guard at this place, on the ap- 
proach of the British, fired the principal store-houses and retired. The 
loss of the provisions was considerable." 6 " September, 1777, the enemy 
came out on both sides of the Hudson simultaneously in considerable 
force, consisting from two to three thousand men, on which occasion 

a Westchester and Putnam Republican, may 14th, 13:S3. 
b Military Kepository, by Charles Smith. 


the American barracks and store-houses, and the whole village of Peek- 
skill was sacked and burnt and the country pillaged. " a The Weekly 
Mercury of Feb. 16th, 1778, (published by Hugh Gaines,) contains a 
letter from Commodore Hotham to Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Howe, 
which by his lordship was transmitted to all ships in service, &c, dated 
on board his Majesty's ship the Preston, lying off Peekskill creek. 
Major Burr was stationed at Peekskill on the 21st July, 1777, when he 
received a lieutenant colonel's commission in the continental army, and 
from this place the traitor Arnold likewise received his appointment to 
West Point, dated August the 3d, 1780. 

In the village of Peekskill was born John Paulding, one of the Ameri- 
can farmers who intercepted Andre the British spy, at Tarrytown, some 
fifteen miles below this place. For his services on this occasion the 
State presented him with a farm situated within the town of Cortlandt. 
The property now belongs to Jacob Strang. 

The following abstract is taken from a deed given by Samuel 
Dodge, Daniel Graham, and John Hotham, commissioners of foreitures 
for the middle district of New York, to John Paulding, of Cortlandt 
Manor : 

' ' For and in consideration of the services John Paulding, of Cortlandt Manor, 
in the County of Westchester, hath rendered his country, in apprehending and 
securing the British deputy adjutant Gen. Major Andre, who was returning to 
New York after having in the character of a spy concerted measures with the 
infamous Benedict Arnold, then commanding at the posts in the Highlands, for 
betraying the said posts into the hands of the enemy, and for his virtue in re- 
fusing a large sum of money offered by the said Major Andre as a bribe to per- 
mit him to escape ; and for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings 
lawful money of the State of New York, and for the further sum of twenty-five 
pounds ten shillings like lawful money of the said State, by the said John Pauld- 
ing paid into the treasury of the said State, the said commissioners by virtue of 
the powers and authorities in and by the several acts to them given, hath by 
their deed bearing date on the 16tb day of June, 1783, granted and sold unto the 
said John Paulding all that certain tract or parcel of land, situated in the manor 
of Cortlandt, in said county of Westchester, and State aforesaid, now in pos- 
session of said John Paulding, and is commonly known by lot No. 14 in great 
lot No. 1, containing 100 acres. 

"Also, another tract, part of farm No. 13, in great north lot No. 1. containing 
21 acres. Also, another part of farm No. 13, in great lot No. 1, and is part of 
the land which Palatiah Haws purchased for Thomas Lee in Magragaria swamp, 
10 acres. Also, another part of farm No. 15, a part of great north lot No. 1, 37 

a Burr's Mem., Vol 1. 180. 

6 County Rec. Register's Office, abstract of sales, p. 137. 


168 acres, 16 rods of lands, appraised for . . £529 10 
Gratuity allowed by law 500 

Excess from him received, £29 10 

John Paulding died on the 18th of February, 181 8. A few minutes 
before the Patriot expired, he called Dr. Fountain, (his medical attend- 
ant,) to the bedside, and thus addressed him: — "Doctor, please tell 
all those who ask after me, that I die a true republican." Paulding's 
remains repose beneath a handsome monument in the Episcopal grave- 
yard, two miles north of the village. 

Upon the north side of Gallows Hill, by the road side leading from 
Peekskill to Albany, is situated the "Soldier's Spring," which derived 
its name from the following tragical incident: — 

' ' The British who were in possession of Stony Point, and whose shipping lay 
m the bay of Haverstraw, resolved upon landing a portion of their men on Ver- 
planck's Point, and from thence make a descent upon Peekskill. Their object 
in this expedition was to procure fresh provisions and to awake the energies of 
the Americans who were encamped in the village and in various places among 
the hills in the vicinity. In accordance with this resolve they effected a land- 
ing and proceeded without opposition to Drum Hill, an eminence that overlooks 
the village near its southern boundry. Here they commenced cannonading with 
two small field pieces which they had brought with them, while their light 
troops entered the village by another road higher up the river. The Americans 
unprepared , and withal too weak to resist so formidable a foe, were obliged after 
a short resistance to fly to the interrior. Their enemies from the commanding 
points which they occupied, kept up a constant firing upon them as they sought 
the various avenues of retreat. It was at this period that a soldier in his flight 
stopped for a monent to refresh himself at the spring. While on his bands and 
knees in the act of drinking, a ball which struck on an eimnence above him, 
glanced obliquely, and descending the road with rapid bounds, finisbed its course 
by shattering the thigh of the exhausted soldier, and burying itself in the ground 
beyond. Unable to move, he lay bleeding and in agony, until a wagon filled 
with provisions hastily collected by a bold and resolute man ere tbey left the 
scene of commotion, passing by, he was perceived by those who followed after, 
who immediately picked him up and placed him thereon. They convej-ed him 
as far as Fishkill village, nineteen miles distant ; but loss of blood and the fatigue 
of his journey, prostrated the powers of nature, and though he received surgical 
aid, survived but a few hours."* 

A short distance north of Peekskill is Cortlandtville ; here is located the 
property and residence formerly of Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt, now 
owned and occupied by James Robertson. The former occupant de- 
rived his title to this portion of the manor from his brother Gilbert, heir 
of his grand-aunt Mrs. Gertrude Beekman. The old brick mansion, 

a Westchester and Putnam Republican, August, 1838. 


J 57 

erected A.D. 1773, occupies a very sequestered and romantic spot on 
the north side of the post road, immediately above Peekskill Hollow. 
At one period of the Revolution it was occupied by the American com- 
mander-in-chief, as head-quarters. Here, too, the Van Cortlandt family 
for some time found a safe asylum amid surrounding desolation. 

In this house General McDougal posted his advanced guard, when the 
British took possession of Peekskill, March, 1777. The following ac- 
count of the subsequent engagement with the enemy, is extracted from 
the Connecticut Journal of April 2d, 1777: 

"Fishkill, March 27.— Our post at Peek's-kill, since the removal of the militia 
of the eastern States has been, in a manner, in a defenceless situation ; there be- 
ing OL-ly part of two regiments stationed there, under the care of Gen McDougal, 
amounting to about 250 men. The enemy having received intelligence of this 
formed an expedition thither, with a view to take or destroy the stores belonging 
to the continentals, that were deposited there. Accordingly, on Sunday last they 
appeared with a frigate, four transports and several other small vessels in the 
bay, and landed about 1000 men, with several pieces of cannon. 

"General McDougal not thinking it prudent to hazard a battle with such an 
unequal force, and not having reasonable advice of the enemy's movement, was 
under the necessity of destroying their stores in order to prevent their falling in- 
to their hands, and retired about two miles into the pass in the highlands, carry- 
ing with him his baggage and military stores, his advanced guards being stationed 
at Cortlandt's house in the valley. The enemy, the same day, took possession 
of the village, and remained close in their quarters until the next day in the 
afternoon, when a party of them, consisting of about 200 men, possessed them- 
selves of a height a little south of Cortlandt's. The general having received a 
reinforcement from Col. Gansevoort's regiment, of about 80 men, under the 
command of Lieut. Colonel Willet, permitted them to attempt to dispossess the 
enemy from that eminence. Col. Willet having accordingly made the necessary 
disposition, advanced with his small party with the greatest firmness and resolu- 
tion, and made the attack. The enemy instantly fled, with the greatest pre- 
cipitation, leaving three men dead on the field; and the whole body, panic struck, 
betook themselves to their shipping, embarking under cover of the night — and 
by the last accounts, they had sailed down the river. Before they embarked, 
they gave out they intended to stop at Tarrytown on their way down, and at- 
tempt to destroy our magazine of forage at Wright's mills. Upon their evacuat- 
ing the place, Gen. McDougal took possession of his former quarters, and de- 
tached a party of men to watch their motions. The enemy on this occasion 
have been exceedingly disappointed, as they have not been able to carry off any 
stores left behind by our men, and no other flock than about forty sheep and 
eight or ten head of cattle, with which they were supplied by our good friends 
the tories. Never did troops exhibit more firmness and resolution than did 
our army on this occasion. Notwithstanding the disparity of numbers was 
great, and the measure absolutely necessary, it was with the utmost reluctance 
they retired to the pass. As usual, these heroes of Britain have burnt some 
houses, plundered the inhabitants of what they could conveniently take with 


them, frightened the women and children, and raised the spirits of their tory 
brethren in that quarter; but which, alas, as is always the case when unnaturally 
elevated, are now again proportionably depressed." 

The old oak tree east of the Van Cortlandt residence, served the pur- 
pose of a military whipping post. 

Upon the summit of a high knoll, south-east of the late residences- of 
Gen, Pierre Van Cortlandt, stands the old parochial church of St. Peter 
in which occasional services are held. Adjoining it on the north-east is 
the Cortlandt cemetery, facing the Westchester and Dutchess county 

A short distance from Cortlandt ville, near Locust avenue is "Rest 
Hill," upon the summit of which the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher is now 
erecting a splendid stone residence. From this point a most magnifi- 
cent view is obtained of the village of Peekskill in the gorge below, the 
mountains bounding the horizon on three sides and the Hudson wind- 
ing like a tangled belt of silver at their bases. Northward the hill falls 
precipitously into the valley, and through that valley winds the Annsville 
creek and Canopus or Sprout brook. On a green slope, really about 
three miles distant, but apparently almost at the foot of " Rest Hill," is 
the old church of St. Peter's, just alluded to and the cemetery. 

The village of Annsville, in this town, is delightfully situated near the 
mouth of the Peekskill creek, one mile north of the village of Peekskill. 
This place formed a part of the Indian territory Wishqua, where was 
anciently an Indian fort and village. Upon the survey of the manor of 
Cortlandt, Annsville and lands adjoining, constituted a section of lot 
No. 10, the river portion of Gertrude, wife of Col. Henry Beekman 
and fifth daughter and devisee of De Heer Stephanus Van Cortlandt. 
This portion of her estate she subsequently devised to her nephew Gil- 
bert Van Cortlandt, who in 1784, bequeathed it to his loving brother 
Pierre Van Cortlandt. 

Here are situated an extensive snuff and wire factory, both propelled 
by water power, and the chemical works ; also some thirty dwellings. 
The Peekskill Blast Furnace is located on the Annsville creek and is 
connected with the Croft iron mines by a railway built for the purpose 
by which the furnace is supplied with a superior quality of iron ore at a 
small cost of transportation. 

The scenery of the Peekskill creek is remarkably rich and diversified. 
This picturesque stream rises 1 4 miles north of Annsville, in the town 
of Kent, Putnam county, south-west of Annsville ; it receives the waters 
of the Canopus, (sprout creek,) a current of water which derives its 
source from Horton's lake, called by the Indians the "Fire-Fly Lake," 


x 59 

a name derived from that beautiful insect whose bright phosphoresence 
illumines the humid valleys and dark woods of a summer's evening. The 
Indian children of the west have the following exquisite chant to this flit- 
ting white-fire insect as they denominate it :— 

"Fire-fly, fire-fly, bright little thing, 
Bright little fire bug, night's little king." 

— Sehooleroffs Oneota. 

Near the banks of the Canopus, or Peekskill hollow, is situated the 
site of the old Continental village, which once contained barracks for 
2,000 men. The following account of its destruction is given in the 
dispatches of Gen. Sir William Howe to Sir Henry Clinton, dated Fort 
Montgomery, October 9, 1777. 

"The little army consisting of about 3,000 men arrived off Ver- 
planck's Point, preceded by the gallies under the command of Sir James 
Wallace. On our appearance the enemy retired without firing a shot, 
leaving a 1 2-pounder behind them ; and Sir James moved up to Peek- 
skill creek to mark the only communication they had across the river on 
this side the Highlands." 

" P.S. — Major Gen. Tryon was detached this morning with Emmerich's chas- 
seurs, 50 yagers, and royal fusiliers and regiment of Trumback, with a three- 
pounder to destroy the rebel settlement called the Continental milage, has just re- 
turned and reported to me, that he has burned the barrack for 1,500 men, several 
store-houses and loaded wagons. I need not point out to your excellency the 
consequence of destroying this post, as it was the only establishment of the 
rebels on that part of the Highlands, and the place from whence any body of 
troops drew their supplies. " a 

The Hudson River Rail Road Bridge now crosses the mouth of the 
Peekskill creek near Annsville, where the old bridge formerly stood, 
leading to Roa or Rahway Hook. The total length of the latter, 
which was built of wood, was fourteen hundred and ninety-six 
feet. Upon the highest ground of Rahway Hook stood "Fort 
Independence Hotel," erected by Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt some 
years ago. From its elevated position this spot commands a most 
extensive prospect of the Hudson River and the adjacent country. To 
the north, rise the majestic Highlands, on the west the race and the 
towering Dunderbarrack. To the south the waters of the Peekskill 
bay resemble a vast lake bounded by the Mountains of Rockland and 
Stony and Verplanck's Points, while on the east appears the village of 
Peekskill and the Cortlandt hills. In the rear of Col. Van Cortlandt's 
are situated the remains of Fort Independence, whose history is so in- 

a Supplement to H. Gaines' Military Gazette, Feb. 9, 1778, No. 1372. 


separably interwoven with the stirring events of the Revolution. A 
small portion of its embankments and trenches are yet to be discerned. 
The whole is shaded by a luxuriant grove of native pines. The solitude 
of this delightful spot is occasionally disturbed by the moaning of the 
wind among the trees, 

And hark! as it comes sighing through the grove, 
The exhausted gale, a spirit there awakes, 
That wild and melancholy music makes. 

Circuituous paths lead to the landing, while the table land to the east is 
heavily bordered with the ash, maple, cedar and towering oak. 

Hudson, the discoverer of the North River, appears to have been 
much struck with the first sight of this high and mountainous region. 

"It appears from his journal," says Moulton, " that he was not inattentive to 
the rapid and astonishing elevation of a district of country which, in the course 
of less than sixty miles, increase from a few feet above the water levels to the 
lofty height of fifteen hundred feet. & Sailing leisurely, he had full opportunity 
to contrast the appearances of the opposite shores. On the left he had the sub- 
lime prospect of the pallisade rocks, whose dark columnar front, like a towering 
battlement, with here and there a projection like the salient angle of a bastion, 
presented perpendicular elevations from three to five hundred feet, and, ranging 
more than thirty miles uninterrupted, (except by the valley of the Nyack,) it at 
last exhibited an altitude of nearly seven hundred feet, c and then vanished from 
his sight on the remote, but still more elevated range of the High Tourn and 
Tourn mountains. On the right he beheld a comparatively low but undulating 
border, which, in the luxuriance of autumnal foliage, afforded a striking con- 
trast and a pleasing relief as he turned from the sublimity and barrenness of the 
opposite cliffs. Onward he perceived the river in its first course of thirty miles, 
very gradually widening until it suddenly presented the broad expanse of a bay 
(' Tappaanse Zee.') Then as he passed into another, (Haverstraw,) and viewed 
the insuperable barriers of mountains that lay before him, he considered his dis- 
covery terminated ; until, in searching for a passage, he found one which proved 
to be the continuation of a river, now serpentining in its course, deepening and 
narrowing, until it 1 rought him to * where the land grew very high and moun- 
tainous.' Here he anchored for the ensuing night. This was directly opposite 
West Point. "<* 

"The Dunder Berg (Thunder Mountain), that rises so grandly at the turn of 
the river opposite Peekskill village, was so named because of the frequent 
thunder-storms that gather around its summit in summer. ' The captains of the 
river-craft,' says Irving, in his legend of the Storm-ship, "talk of a little bul- 
bous-bottomed Dutch goblin, in trunkhose and sugar-loaf hat, with a speaking 
trumpet in his hand, which, they say, keeps the Dunder Berg. They declare 
that they have heard him in stormy whether, in the midst of the turmoil, giving 

a At Bergen Point. 

b At the head of the Highlands. 

c South peak of Vredideka Hook. 

d Moulton's Hist, of New York, pp. 238-239. 


orders in low Dutch for the piping up of a fresh gust of wind, or the rattling off 
of another thunder-clap. Sometimes he has been seen surrounded by a crew of 
little imps in broad breeches and short doubtlets, tumbling head over heels in 
the rock and mist, and playing a thousand gambols in the air, or buzzing, like a 
swarm of flies about Anthony's nose ; and that at such times the hurry-scurry 
of the storm was always greatest.' The romancer tells us that at one time 
a terrible thunder-gust burst upon a sloop when passing the Dunder Berg, and 
she was in the greatest peril. Her crew saw at the mast head a white sugar-loaf 
hat, and knowing that it belonged to the goblin of the Dunder Berg, dared not 
clirnb to get rid of it. The vessel sped swiftly through the Highlands into New- 
burg Bay, when the little hat suddenly sprung up, whirled the clouds into a 
vortex, and hurried them back to the Dunder Berg. " There is another story told 
of this 'foul-weather urchin," says the romancer, "by Skipper Daniel Ousele- 
sticker, of Fishkill, who was never known to tell a lie. He declared that, in a 
severe squall, he saw him seated astride of his bowsprit riding the sloop ashore, 
full butt against Anthony's Nose, and that he was exorcised by Dominie Van 
Giesen, of Esopus, who happened to be on board, and who sang the hymn of 
St. Nicholas, whereupon the goblin threw himself up into the air like a ball, 
and went off in a whirlwind, carrying away with him the night-cap of the 
Dominie's wife, which was discovered the next Sunday morning hanging on the 
weather-cock of Esopus church steeple, at least forty miles off." Not many 
years ago the engine of an immense pumping apparatus of a coffer-dam was in 
operation at the foot of the great hill at a place called Caldwell's Landing. The 
story of that coffer-dam, in all its details, forms one of the most remarkable of 
the romances of the Hudson. It may only be given here in faint outline. 

Many years ago an iron cannon was by accident brought up by an anchor 
from the bottom of the river at that point. It was suggested that it belonged to 
the pirate ship of Captain Kidd. A speculator caught the idea, and boldly pro- 
claimed, in the face of recorded history to the contrary, that Kidd's ship had 
been sunken at that point with untold treasures on board. The story went 
abroad that the deck had been penetrated by a very long auger, which en- 
countered hard substances, and its thread was shown with silver attached which, 
it was declared, had been brought up from the vessel. The story was believed, 
a stock company was formed to procure the treasures by means of a coffer- 
dam around the sunken vessel. For days, weeks and months, the engine worked 
on the coffer-dam. One New York merchant put $20,000 into the enterprise. 
The speculator took large commissions, until the hopes of the stockholders failed 
and the work ceased. Nothing may be seen there now but the ruins of the 
works so begun, close at the water's edge. At that point a bateau was sunk by 
a shot from the Vulture while conveying the captured iron cannon from Stony 
Point to West Point after the victory by Wayne. The cannon brought up by 
the anchor was doubtless one of these. 

Anthony's Nose, opposite, has a bit of romance in the legendary story of its 
origin. We are told by the veracious historian, Knickerbocker, that on one 
occasian Anthony the Trumpeter, who afterward disappeared in the turbulent 
waters of Spuytden Duyvel-Kill, was with Stuyvesant on a Dutch galley pass- 
ing up the river. Early in the morning Anthony, having washed his face, and 
thereby polished his huge fiery nose, whose flames came out of flagons, was lean- 


ing over the quarter railing, when the sun burst forth in splendor over that pro- 
montory. One of its brightest rays fell on the glowing nose of the trumpeter, 
and reflecting, hissing hot, into the water, killed a sturgeon. The sailors got the 
dead monster of the deep on board. It was cooked. When Stuyvesant ate of the 
flesh and heard the strange story of its death, he " marvelled exceedingly ; " and 
in commemoration of the event he named the lofty hill, which rises more than 
twelve hundred feet above the bosom of the river "Anthony's Nose." As the 
steamboat sweeps round the Donder Berg, with Anthony's Nose on the right, the 
theatre of one of the most interesting of the romances of the Hudson is presented 
in lofty Bear Mountain in front, Lake Sinnipink, or Bloody Pond, on a broad 
terrace at its base, and Poplopens Creek flowing into the river on the western 
shore between high rocky banks. Upon these banks lay Forts Clinton and 
Montgomery, the former on the south side of the creek and the latter on the north 

These forts were built by the Americans for the defence of the lower entrance 
to the Highlands, against fleets of the enemy that might ascend the river ; for it 
was known from the beginning that it was a capital plan of the British Ministry 
to get possession of the valley of the Hudson, and so separate New England from 
the other colonies. In addition to these forts, a boom and chain were stretched 
across the river from Fort Montgomery to Anthony's Nose to obstruct the navi- 

We have observed that Clinton swept around the Donder Berg with a part of 
his army, and fell upon Forts Clinton and Montgomery. That was on the 7th 
of October, 1777. The brothers, Generals George (Governor) and James Clin- 
ton commanded the little garrison. They were brave and vigilant. It was not 
an easy task for the enemy to approach the fort through the rugged mountain 
passes, watched and attacked by scouting parties. They had divided, one party 
accompanied by the baronet, making their way toward evening, between Lake 
Sennipink and the river, there they encountered abattis covering a detatchment of 
Americans. A severe fight ensued. The dead were thrown into the lake and it 
was called " Bloody Pond." 

Both divisions now pressed toward the forts, closely infested them, and were 
supported by a heavy cannonade from the British flotilla. The battle raged un- 
til twilight ; overwhelming numbers of the assailants caused the Americans to 
abandon their works under cover of darkness and to flee to the mountains. Be- 
fore leaving, they set fire to t wo frigates, two armed galleys and a sloop, which 
had been placed above the boom. 

That conflagration was magnificent ; the sales of the vessels all set, and they 
soon became splendid pyramids of flame. Over the bosom of the river was spread 
abroad sheet of ruddy light for a great distance, and the surrounding mountains 
were brilliantly illuminated by the fire, which gave aid to the fugitives among 
the dreary hills. These features of the event, with the booming of the cannon on the 
loaded vessels when the fire reached them, answered by echoes from a hundred 
hills, produced a scene of awful grandeur never witnessed before or since on the 
borders of the Hudson. It was a wild and fearful romance, that ended in the 
breaking of the boom and chain, and passage up the river of the British squadron 
with marauding troops. These laid in ashes, many a fair mansion belonging to 


sy a. mmsn omzEfij 

i, 162, 


republicans as far north as Livingston's Manor, on the lower verge of Columbia 
county. " a 

The late Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt, the proprietor of "Antonie's 
Nose," or St. Anthony's Nose, which lies in the north-west corner of 
Cortlandt-town, used to give another version for the origin of that 
name, which deserves to be recorded here : — 

" Before the Revolution a vessel was passing up the river under the 
command of a Captain Hogans, when immediately opposite this moun- 
tain, the mate looked rather quizzically first at the mountain and then 
at the captain's nose. The captain, by the way, had an enormous nose, 
which was not unfrequently the subject of good-natured remark, and he 
at once understood the mate's allusion. 'What,' says the captain, 'does 
that look like my nose ? call it then, if you please Antony's Nose.' 
The story was repeated on shore, and the mountain thenceforward as- 
sumed the name ; and has thus become an everlasting monument to the 
memory of the redoubtable captain, Antony Hogans and his nose." 

The elevation of Anthony's Nose is one thousand two hundred and 
twenty-eight feet from the level of the river, and directly opposite Fort 
Montgomery creek. From here to Fort Montgomery, which is now in 
ruins on the opposite side, the large boom and chain was extended dur- 
ing the Revolutionary war, which cost about seventy thousand pounds 
sterling. It was partly destroyed as we have seen by Gen. Sir Henry 
Clinton on the memorable 7th of October, 1777. 6 

"In the year 1672, orders arrived to Governor Lord Lovelace to put 
the Province in a state of defence. Upon this occasion a small fort was 
to be erected at Anthony's Nose, or near it on the North River." c 

An enormous suspension bridge across the Hudson River is now be- 
ing commenced at St. Anthony's Nose. The following statement is fur- 
nished by the engineer who is to superintend its construction: — "Clear 
span, 1,600 feet; length of bridge between the towers, 1,665; total 
length of bridge, including approaches, 2,499; height of bridge above 
high water, 155 feet; working safe load for the rail road lines, 2,400 
tons; working safe load for highways, 2,880; total safe load for the 
bridge, 5,280 ; load that will break the bridge, 25,161. The 
bridge will carry at one time 32 passenger cars; the bridge would 
carry safely 38,569 people, and a train of 60 locomotives, if 
they could be all on it at once; 53 locomotives and 18,000 would 

a The Romance of the Hudson. Harpers Mo. Mag, No. cccxi, April, 1876, vols. L, II, 647, 8, 9. 
About 30 years since, several cannon were raised from the sunken British vessels in the river, 
directly opposite Fort Independence, by the aid of diving-bells. A portion of the large chain 
which stretched across the Hudson, is still preserved at the Manor-house on the Croton. 

b Letters on the Hudson. 

e Dunlap's Hist, of New York, vol. i, p. 12T. 


fill it. There are to be 20 cables in 4 systems; each cable will 
be about 14 inches diameter; the cables contain 371,195,750 feet of 
steel wire, or about 70,302 miles of steel wire; total weight of iron and 
steel in the bridge, 17,005 tons; total amount of masonry, 58,084 cubic 
yards; total suspended weight, 9,651 tons; height of towers above 
water, 280 feet. The bridge will leave the water-way of the river un- 

In early provincial times a tribe of Indians named the Wabingi, oc- 
cupied the Highland, called by them Kettatenny Mountains. Their 
principal settlement, designated Wickapy, was situated in the vicinity of 
Anthony's Nose. a 

Four miles south of Peekskill lies Verplanck's Point. This territory 
called by the Indians Meahagh, was bounded on the east by lands of 
Appamagpogh and the creek Meanagh, on the south by the same creek, 
on the west by the Hudson, and on the north by the creek Tammoesis. 

Prior to 1683 the territory of Meahagh belonged to Siechamthe great 
sachem of Sachus and other Indians, a clan of the Mohegans or " En- 
chanted Wolf Tribe," who sold the same to De Heer Stephanus van 
Cortlandt. At the death of Stephanus it passed by will to his oldest son 
Johannes second lord of the Manor of Cortlandt, and afterwards des- 
cended by marriage to Philip Verplanck, from whom the neck acquired 
its present appellation. This individual married Gertrude, only daugh- 
ter and heiress of the above Johannes. 

In 1734, Verplanck's Point (consisting of one thousand acres) was 
held by John Lent, who paid therefor the yearly rent of one pepper-corn 
on the feast day of St. Michael the archangel. 

The Verplanck's subsequently sold the Point to John Henry and 
others, for the sum of nearly $300,000. 

The Verplanck family descend from Abraham Jacobsen Verplanck, 
of New Amsterdam, whose son, Gulian, was a wealthy merchant of 
the same place in 1683. The son of Gulian was Philip Verplanck, of 
Verplanck's Point. 

This branch of the family is now represented by Philip Verplanck, 
Esq., of New Windsor, grandson of the last mentioned Philip. 

John Henry, Esq., held five hundred acres upon which is situated 
the old Verplanck residence. The mansion of the late William Lyell, 

a Moulton's Hist, of New York, p. 271, see note. 

a Abrani Planck or Verplanck, was a farmer at Paulus noeck and one of the " Twelve 
Men " under Geritom Kieft in 1&41. The "Twelve men "were all Hollanders or emigrants 
from Ilolland." Brodhead'a Hist of the State of N. Y., vol. i. p. 317. The late venerable 
Gulian C. Verplanck of New York who was born Aug. c, 17S6, and died March 18, 1S70, was of 
this family. 


Esq., who married the widow of the late Buckman Verplanck, Esq., is 
delightfully situated in the midst of the beautiful woodland scenery. 

Verplank's Point has ever been admired for the variety and exquisite 
beauty of its scenery, and in some places it is thickly covered with luxuriant 
woods. The line of the Hudson River Railroad passes through the 
" Deep-Gut," a singular phenomena, which traverses the neck for some 

The village of Verplanck is now laid out in avenues and streets, from 
Lent's cove on the north to Green's cove on the south, and bounded on 
the west by the Hudson. Here is a station of the Hudson River Rail- 
road, a convenient steam-boat landing, post-office, taverns, stores and 
numerous dwelling houses, one Methodist Episcopal church and one 
Roman Catholic church, besides nine brick yards, three of which are 
owned by Mr. Rosalie Blakely, and the others by the Hudson River 
Brick Manufacturing Company, viz : Daniel J. Haight, John Morton, 
John Candee and Charles Shultz. These nine yards employ about 400 
men and manufacture about 375,000 bricks per day, involving an ex- 
penditure for labor of about $78,000 for the brick making season of 130 
days. A beautiful lake has been erected within the village through the 
indefatigable exertions of James A. Whitbeck, Esq. The spot occupied 
by the lake was formerly an unsightly morass, 97 acres in extent, and was 
overflowed for the purpose not only of beautifying the surrounding 
country, but also in order to prevent malaria. It is now owned by the 
Knickbocker Ice Company of New York, which cuts about 75,000 tons 
of ice during the season. 

Near the western extremity of the Point is the site of Fort Fayette, 
which, July 2 2d, 1779, was garrisoned by one thousand British troops, 
under the command of Gen. Vaughan. "Twenty-third of June, 1779," 
remarks Gen. Heath, " the British were now in possession of both the 
points at King's Ferry, and a number of transports had lain in the 
river for some time. The advanced posts of the Americans at this time, 
on this side, did not extend lower than Peekskill," &c a " On the 27th," 
continues the same authority, "a deserter came in from Verplanck's 
Point, who reported that the British Army, except five or six regiments, 
were to leave the points, and were then embarking. Soon after upwards 
of thirty sail of transports were seen standing down the river. The 
British had a sloop at anchor off Peekskill Landing and a ship off the 
Dunderberg. Lest the enemy meant a deception, the Americans were 
ordered to lie on their arms, and a regiment extra was ordered to ad- 
vanced on the heights. 

a Heath's Mem. 205. 


"On the 28th, three deserters, one a Hessian musician with his horn, 
came in from the enemy. They confirmed the testimony of the former 
deserter, that the body of the British army had left the points."* On 
the 2d or July, Col. Rufus Putnam reconnoitered the enemy's positions 
at Verplanck's and Stoney Points." 6 

Subsequent to the brilliant attack and capture of Stony Point under 
General Wayne, 13th of July, 1779, lt: was resolved to attack this post, 
"Stony Point, (says Gen. Heath,) having been taken with so much eclat 
to the American arms, Gen. Washington determined an attempt on 
Verplank's Point, on the east side of the Hudson, and opposite to Stony 
Point. For this purpose Major Gen. Howe with two brigades and some 
12-pounders on travelling, was ordered to proceed by the way of Peek- 
skill, throw a bridge over the creek, move on the point, and open bat- 
teries on the enemy's works, while a cannonading and bombardment was 
kept up across the river from Stony Point." 

July 17, 1779, at about 10 o'clock, A.M., General Heath while out 
reconnoitreing, received by express from Gen. Washington, orders to 
move as expeditiously as possible to Peekskill, where he would find 
Gen. Howe with two brigades. Gen. Heath was to take command of 
the whole, and carry into effect the orders which had been given to Gen. 
Howe. Gen. Heath returned immediately to the troops, and at 12 
o'clock began to march towards Peekskill — marched until dusk, 15 
miles, when the troops halted and laid down to rest on the side of the 
road, the dragoons not unsaddling their horses. 

At 3 o'clock the next morning, the troops resumed their march, and 
in the afternoon Gen. Heath received information from Gen. Howe, by 
express, that Gen. Clinton was in full march with his whole army to- 
wards Verplank's Point. An answer was returned, at what point the troops 
then were, and that they were marching as fast as the men could endure, 
and would continue so until they reached him. When the troops had 
advanced a little to the westward of Drake's farm, Col. Mayland came 
up from Gen. Howe with information that a part of Clinton's army were 
then above the new bridge on Croton river, pushing for the Point; and 
that he was retreating from the Point as fast as possible. On this Gen. 
Heath ordered Gen. Huntington with his brigade and two field pieces 
to push forward as fast as the troops could march and keep in breath, 
and take a position on the high ground to the south of Peekskill, which 
commands the road to the Point, and also that to the new bridge on 
Croton river ; and ordered a regiment to file off to the right and secure 

a Heath's Memories, 206. 
6 Heath's Memoirs, 207. 


the pass over the hills between Drake's and Peekskill, and also ordered 
the flank guard on the left to be reinforced, and to send out small flank 
guards still further from its flank. The troops moved on with the ut- 
most expedition to the ground which Gen. Huntington had been ordered 
forward to secure. Every moment that passed, was expected to an- 
nounce the commencement of an action between the advanced or flank- 
ing parties of the two armies; but it did not take place. At this mo- 
ment Gen. Washington, having learnt how matters stood, and that pos- 
sibly Gen. Clinton might attempt to push into the Highlands, sent an 
express to Gen. Heath, to move into the Highlands immediately, which 
was done, just after dark, the troops passing the night on Bald Hill. It 
was generally of the opinion that if Gen. Heath had not been at hand 
to advance in the manner he did, that Gen. Clinton by a forced march 
of his light troops, backed by his army, would have got in the rear of 
Gen. Howe, before he could have possibly gained the road at Peekskill, 
and between his army and a sally from the garrison of Verplanck's Point, 
inevitably cut off the whole. Our troops at Stoney Point cannonaded 
and bombarded the enemy's works at Verplanck's during the whole day, 
and until near midnight. The post was then evacuated, and the Wash- 
ington galley was blown up. a 

On the 2d of October, 1779, tne enemy at Verplanck's Point, opened 
a number of pits about five feet deep, and from four feet over, with a 
sharp stake in the middle, around the outside of the abattis. b 

October 21st, 1779, three deserters came in from Verplanck's Point, 
and reported that the enemy were on the point of evacuating their works. 
The officer commanding the advanced picket, soon after sent informa- 
tion that the works appeared to be on fire, and the shipping standing 
down the river. Major Waldbridge, who commanded the advanced 
picket, immediately sent a detachment to take possession of the works. 
Several loaded shells, left by the enemy in places where the fire would 
come to them, burst, but did no harm. The enemy left one horse, a 
few old entrenching tools, and some other trifles at the Point." 

Colonel Livingston held command of this post in 1780, when Arnold 
came there for the purpose of carrying on his treasonable correspond- 
ence with Andre. 

a Heath's Mem. 211. Mrs. Hannah Hoagh, aged 86, Oct. 31, 1845, says — "My father in the 
beginning of the war lived at Verplanck's Point, and afterwards at Tarrytown, and we were 
repeatedly plundered both by Cow-boys and Skinner's. Isawye British army, when they land- 
ed at Teller's Point and marched up (in 1T79 probably). They were encamped one night on 
Collabergh Hill, a short distance east of ye post road, and marched ye next day to Verplanck's 
Point. The British cavalry encamped one night or so on ye hills near New Castle Corner. 
McDonald MSS., in possession of George H. Moore, Esq., of N. Y. Hist. Society. 

6 Heath's Mem. 218. 

c Heath's Mem. 221. 


Upon the south-west side of Verplanck's Point, was situated King's 
Ferry, the ancient pass to Rockland. The old sign-post placed at the 
head of the lane, leading to this ferry, bore the following direction: — 


Upon the 30th of August, 1779, fifteen sail of the enemy lay at an- 
chor near the King's Ferry.* 

On the evening of September 2 2d, 1780, Major John Andre, the 
British spy, crossed the King's Ferry in company with Smith and the 
negro boy. William Van Wert, the ferry-master on this occasion, after- 
wards testified at Andre's trial, "that Mr. Smith crossed King's ferry 
from Stoney Point to Verplanck's Point, on the evening of a day in the 
week before last, in company with another man, and a negro boy was 
with him ; — each of them had a horse. The day of the month I do not 
recollect. I have not seen the person since to know him. He had a 
black, blue or brown, great -coat on, a round hat, and a pair of boots. 
I did not hear any conversation pass between Mr. Smith and the person 
in the boat, neither did I hear Mr. Smith say which way he was going. 
Mr. Smith seemed to hurry us a good deal. Cornelius Lambert, Henry 
Lambert and Lambert Lambert, were boat-men along with me." 

Four or five miles below Verplanck's Point can be distinctly seen 
Smith's house, where the interview took place between Andre and 
Arnold, and where the latter gave the spy the fatal papers that proved 
his ruin. 

It was at King's Ferry, about the middle of September, 1781, that the 
junction of the French and American armies took place. The French 
army crossed the Hudson River from Stoney Point to Verplanck's Point, 
where the American forces were paraded under arms to receive them. 

In describing the scenery of this beautiful spot, Mr. N. P. Willis re- 
marks: "It is not easy to pass and repass the now peaceful and beauti- 
ful waters of this part of the Hudson, without calling to mind the scenes 
and actors in the great drama of the Revolution, which they not long 
ago bore on their bosom. The busy mind fancies the armed gun-boats 
slowly pulling along the shore, and the light pinnace of the Vulture fly- 
ing to and fro on its errands of conspiracy, and not the least vivid pic- 
ture to the imagination is the boat containing the accomplished, the gal- 
lant Andre and his guard, on his way to death. It is probable that he 
first admitted to his own mind the possibility of a fatal result while pass- 
ing this very spot. A late biographer of Arnold, gives the particulars of 
a conversation between Andr£ and Major Tallmadge, the officer who 

a Heath's Mem. 216. 


had him in custody, and who brought him from West Point down the 
river to Tappan, the place of his subsequent execution : ' Before we 
reached the Clove, (a landing just below Verplank's Point,) Major An- 
dre became very inquisitive to know my opinion as to the result of his 
capture. When I could no longer evade his importunity, I remarked to 
him as follows : " I had a much loved class-mate in Yale College by the 
name of Hale, who entered the army in 1775. Immediately after the 
battle of Long Island, Washington wanted information respecting the 
strength of the army; he went over to Brooklyn, and was taken just as 
he was passing the out-posts of the enemy, on his return. Said I, with 
emphasis, do you remember the sequel of his story? Yes, said Andre, 
he was hanged as a spy ; but you, surely, do not consider his case and mine 
alike ? I replied — yes, precisely similar ; and similar will be your fate. 
He endeavored to answer my remarks, but it was manifest he was more 
troubled in spirit than I had ever seen him before.' " a 

What a contrast does this scene present to the passage of the traitor 
himself, who, as soon as his villainy was ascertained, "mounted a horse 
belonging to one of his aids that stood saddled at the door, and rode alone, 
with all speed, to the bank of the river. He there entered a boat, and 
directed the oarsmen to push out to the the middle of the stream. The 
boat was rowed by six men, who, having no knowledge of Arnold's in- 
tentions, promptly obeyed his orders. He quickened their activity by 
saying, thas he was going down the river and on board the Vulture with 
a flag, and that he was in great haste, as he expected Gen. Washington 
at his house, and wished to return as expeditiously as possible to meet 
him there. He also added another stimulating motive, by promising 
them two gallons of rum, if they would exert themselves with all their 
strength. As they approached King's Ferry, Arnold exposed to view a 
white handkerchief, and ordered the men to row directly to the Vulture, 
which was now in sight a little below the place it had occupied when Andre 
left it. The signal held oat by Arnold, while the boat was passing Ver- 
planck's Point, caused Col. Livingston to regard it as a flag-boat, and 
prevented him from ordering it to be stopped and examined. The boat 
reached the Vulture unobstructed in its passage ; and after Arnold had 
gone on board and introduced himself to Capt. Sutherland, he called the 
leader of the boatman into the cabin, and informed him that he and his 
companions were prisoners. The boatmen, who had capacity and 
spirit, said they were not prisoners ; that they came on board with a flag 
of truce, and under the same sanction they would return. He then ap- 
pealed to the captain, demanding justice and a proper respect for the 
a American scenery by Bartlett and Willis. 


rules of honor. Arnold replied, that all this was nothing to the purpose ; 
that they were prisoners and must remain on board. Capt. Sutherland, 
disdaining so pitiful an action — though he did not interefere with the posi- 
tive command of Arnold — told the man that he would take his parole and 
he might go on shore and procure clothes and whatever else was wamted 
for himself and his companions. This was accordingly done the same 
day. When these men arrived in New York, Sir Henry Clinton, hold- 
ing in just contempt such a wanton act of meanness, set them all at 
liberty." 1 * 

As soon as Washington had 'solved the mystery, "and the whole ex- 
tent of the plot was made manifest, Hamilton was immediately ordered 
to mount a horse and ride to Verplanck's Point, that preparations might 
be made for stopping Arnold, should he not already have passed that 
post." " But Col. Hamilton's mission proved too late. It could hardly 
have been otherwise, for Arnold had got the start by six hours. He left 
his house about ten o'clock in the morning, and his treachery was not 
known to Washington till nearly four o'clock in the afternoon. When 
Hamilton arrived at Verplanck's Point, a flag of truce was coming, or 
had come from the Vulture to that post with a letter from Arnold to 
Washington." 6 

" The case of Col. Livingston is worthy of notice. He commanded 
at Verplanck's Point, and from the proximity of his post to the enemy, 
and several concurring circumstances, might be very fairly presumed to 
have been either directly or indirectly concerned in Arnold's manoeuvres. 
By a very laconic letter, Washington ordered that officer to come to him 
immediately. Livingston expected, at least, a severe scrutiny into his 
conduct ; being fully aware, though conscious of his innocence, that 
circumstances were unfavorable. But Washington made no inquiries 
into the past, nor uttered a syllable that implied distrust. He told 
Col. Livingston that he had sent for him to give him very special orders, 
to impress upon him the danger of his post and the necessity of vigilance, 
and to communicate other particulars, which could only be done in a 
personal interview. In conclusion he said it was a source of gratification 
to him, that the post was in the hands of an officer, whose courage and 
devotedness to the cause of his country afforded a pledge of a faithful 
and honorable discharge of duty. Let the reader imagine the grateful 
emotions of Col. Livingston, his increased esteem for his commander, 
and the alacrity with which, under such an impulse, he went back to 
his station of high trust and danger." 

a Sparks' Life of Arnold, p. 241, 2-3. 
b Sparks' Life of Arnold, 249. 
c Sparks' Life of Arnold, p. 253. 


One of the most interesting associations connected with this spot, is 
the recollection, that here were located the head-quarters of General 

" On my return from the southward in 1782," says the translator of 
Chastellux, (who has thought proper to withhold his name,) " I spent a 
day or two at the American camp at Verplanck's Point, where I had 
the honor of dining with General Washington. I had suffered severely 
from an ague which I could not get quit of, though I had taken the 
exercise of a hard trotting horse, and got thus far to the northward 
in the month of October. The General observing it, told me he was 
sure I had not met with a good glass of wine for some time — an article 
then very rare — but that my disorder must be frightened away. He 
made me drink three or four of his silver camp cups of excellent Maderia 
at noon, and recommended to nie to take a generous glass of claret 
after dinner • a prescription by no means repugnant to my feelings, and 
which I most religiously followed. I mounted my horse the next morn- 
ing, and continued my journey to Massachusetts, without ever experienc- 
ing the slightest return of my disorder. 

" The American camp here presented the most beautiful and picturesque 
appearance. It extended along the plain, on the neck of land formed 
by the winding of the Hudson, and had a view of this river to the south. 
Behind it the lofty mountains, covered with woods, formed the most sub- 
lime back-ground that painting could express. In the front of the tents 
was a regular continued portico, formed by the boughs of the trees in 
full verdure, decorated with much taste and fancy. Opposite the camp, 
and on distinct eminences, stood the tents of some of the general officers 
over which towered predominant that of Washington. I had seen all 
the camps in England, from many of which drawings and engravings 
have been taken; but this was, truly, a subject worthy of the pencil of 
the first artist. The French camp, during their stay in Baltimore, was 
decorated in the same manner. At the camp at Verplanck's Point we 
distinctly heard the morning and evening gun of the British at Kings- 

Curiosity seizes with avidity upon any incidental information which 
fills up the bare outline of history. The personal history of Washing- 
ton more particularly, wherever it has. been traced by those who were in 
contact with him, is full of interest. Some of the sketches given by the 
Marquis of Chastellux, who passed this point of the Hudson on his way 
to Washington's head-quarters below, are very graphic : 

" The weather being fair on the 26th," he says, "I got on horseback, 
after breakfast, with the General. He was so attentive as to give me 
the horse I rode on the day of my arrival. I found him as good as he 
is handsome ; but, above all, perfectly well broke and well trained, hav- 
ing a good mouth, easy in hand, and stopping short in a gallop without 
bearing the bit. I mention these minute particulars, because it is the 


General himself who breaks all his own horses. He is an excellent and 
bold horseman, leaping the highest fences, and going extremely quick, 
without standing upon his stirrups, bearing on the bridle, or letting his 
horse run wild ; circumstances which our young men look upon as so 
essential a part of English horsemanship, that they would rather break a 
leg or an arm than renounce them. 

" It was off Verplanck's Point that Hudson's vessel, the ' Half Moon,' 
came to an anchor on the 1st of October, 1609,® 

"Here he was visited by the native Highlander's, 6 who came nocking 
to the ship, expressing their wonder and astonishment to behold a ves- 
sel so superior to their canoes, and weapons so much more terrible than 
their own. Anxious to carry away to their friends some part of this 
floating world of wonders, and not satisfied with the trifles they received 
in return for skins, one of the canoes with one man in it lurked about 
the stern with a thievish tardiness, notwithstanding he was warned off. 
Watching an opportunity, he at length crawled up the rudder into the 
cabin window, and stole a pillow and a few articles of wearing apparel. 
The mate, little anticipating that justice, though slow, is sure, and 
would follow him even to the Arctic circle, shot at the poor pilferer and 
killed him. The rest fled; panic struck, and in their precipitance, some 
leaped into the water. The ship's boat was manned and sent to re- 
cover the articles ; one of those who had leaped into the water got hold 
of the boat for the purpose of overturning it, as was thought, but the 
cook stood ready with his sword, and with one blow cut off one of his 
hands, and he was drowned. This was the first Indian blood shed during 
the voyage. With this mighty revenge for a trifling injury, they returned 
to the ship, and weighed anchor near Teller's Point, off the mouth of 
Croton river, near the entrance into Tappan Sea." 

Parsonage or Montrose's Point, sometimes styled "Parsonage Farm,'' 
is separated from Verplanck's Point, on the north, by the creek Mea- 
nagh. This Point or Farm, which originally consisted of one hundred 
and seventy-two acres, was held simply by permission or lease, under 
James Van Cortlandt, (the son of John, grandson of Stephen, the son of 
De Herr Stephanus Van Cortlandt,) by the consistory of the Dutch Re- 
formed church, until at last the law of limitation had given the latter 
peaceable possession of the property, a claim which was strengthened by 
an order of the Court of Chancery issued in 1835-6 giving the consistory 
permission to sell. The "Parsonage Farm," was subsequently sold to 
Stephen Lent for the sum of $2,750/ who disposed of it to different 

The old Dutch church, of Cortlandt Manor, stood on the Brotherson 
farm at Montrose's Point, now owned by Frederick W. Seward, Assistant 

a Moulton & Yates Hist. N. Y., page 271. 

b The Wickapy Indians, whose principal settlements were in the vicinity of Anthony's Nose, 
c Another account states that the title of the church became involved, after the Revolution- 
ary war, and the property was sold to satisfy quit-rent. 


Secretary of the United States, and others, quite near the residence of 
the former. This edifice which was probably erected in 1729-30, was 
still standing in 1793; but destroyed by fire soon afterwards. Prior 
to the building of the old church, the members of this society appear to 
have contributed one-fourth part towards the salary for the support of 
the Rev. minister at Philipsburgh, or Sleepy Hollow ; for in the second 
Book of the church memoranda, at the latter place, occurs the following 
entry : — "A beginning will be made on the next page, but also by com- 
mon accord it is resolved by the inhabitants of Philips, of one part and 
the respective inhabitants of the manor of Mr. Cortlandt, to wit, that the 
said communities will be holden (without having to move any excep- 
tion against it) to pay and to deliver a legal fourth part, yearly, for di- 
vine service in the church here at Philipsburgh, in order that the Rev. 
minister of God's word may and can receive in a better manner, his 
salary and satisfaction for his true performed service in the respective 
community. At Philipsburgh on the other side will be holding to satisfy 
the other three parts for the said divine service, for the satisfaction of the 
Rev. minister, and further they will be henceforth together and as one 
community, and members of the Christian church ; and henceforth they 
will be annoted in the church memoranda book in such a manner as it 
will be called for." The following list of communicants occurs soon after, 
dated April 2 1 st, A. D. 1717, entitled: — "A continuation of the per- 
sons, members, living in the manor of Cortlandt and patent of Captain 
Dekay and Ryck Abrahamson. First, Sybout Herricksen Krankheyt 
and Geertje his wife, Jan Corne Van Texel and Annentj his wife, Fran- 
coy de Paw, Mathys Brower and Marretye his wife, Nathan Beesly and 
Esther his wife, Catharine Van Texel, wife of Hendrick Lent, Geertje 
Brouwer, wife of Samuel Brouwer, Hendrick Lent and Cornelia his wife, 
William Van Texel and Irynje his wife, Annetje Sybout, wife of Jan 
Beesly, Maria de Paw, wife of Abram Lent, Aeltje Brouwer, wife of 
Jeurisen Wall, Thunis, Kranckhyt and Sophye his wife, William Teller 
and Marietje his wife, Jeremy Gennuyss and Annetje his wife, Marri- 
etje Blauvelt, wife of Ryck Lent, and Eljzabeth, the wife of Cornells 

Belonging to the Reformed Church of Cortlandtown, is a MSS. volume 
entitled: — "Kerkelyk Aantcken boek voor De Mannour Van Cortlandt," 
that is, (" a church register for the manor of Cortlandt,") containing a 
list of baptized infants, to which is appended the names of the parents 
and witnesses, &c. The first entry occurs June 3d, 1729; baptized 
Teunis, the son of Hendrick Brouwer and Jannetje Crankheit. 

"The 28th day of June, 1760, ordained as consistory, Hermanus Gar- 


dineir, Abraham Van Tessel, as elders, and Abraham Lent, as deacon, 
&c." a From the foregoing extracts it is evident that a district society- 
was organized on Cortlandt manor as early as 1729, and that the first 
Church edifice was erected soon afterwards. 

The present church which was built between the years 1795 and 1799 
is located south-east of Verplanck's Point, near the King's Ferry Road 
and directly facing the Albany and New York turnpike. It is a neat 
structure of wood, with a tower and cupola, but its interior contains 
nothing worthy of notice — a lecture room and porch have been recently 
added. The tower contains a steel bell weighing 800 lbs., manufactured 
at Sheffield, England, presented by James R. Gibson and Mrs. A. G. 
Phelps as a memorial of Mrs. James R. Gibson of Cortlandtown — in- 
scribed " Kathrina, 1874." A parsonage was erected on the glebe ad- 
joining the church in 1854. The church now holds sixteen acres of 
land, a portion of which has been laid out in what is called " Cedar Hill 

The following warrantee deed, which includes the site of the church 
and containing altogether an acre of ground was given on the 31st of 
March, 1795, by James Cockcroft, of the city of New York of the first 
part to the Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Dutch church of the 
town of Cortlandt, County of Westchester and State of New York, for 
the sum of five shillings good and lawful money of the State of New 
York to him in hand paid : 

" All that certain piece or parcel of land situate lying and being in the Town 
of Cortlandt, County of Westchester and State of New York and is part of water 
lot (No. 7) adjoining Hudson's River, butted and bounded as followeth beginning 
at a small Bilberry Bush & on the west side of the Post Road leading from the 
City of New York to Peekskill thence south 62 degrees and 30 minutes west 3 
chains and 90 links to a stake and stones, thence south 26 degrees and 30 min- 
utes East three chains and 90 links to a stake and stone, thence north 62 
degrees and 30 minutes east 3 chains and 90 links to the Post Road afore- 
said, thence northerly by and with said road to the place of beginning con- 
taining 1 acre two quarters and three rods of land, together with all and singular 
the buildings, hereditaments, &c, belonging, &c. To have and to hold, &c," 
"and also the said party, party of the 2nd part and their successors shall and 
may from time to time and at all times for ever hereafter peaceably and quietly 
have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy, &c." James Cockcroft." 

Lydia, widow of James Cockcroft, afterwards married Charles White. 
To prevent any claim of dower that might hereafter have arisen, Charles 

a Since the publication of the first edition of this work in 1S47, the above register has been 
mutilatrd ami now commences with deaths, Aug. 29, 1741. [Editor.] 

Z> Amidst all the trimmings and changes the bilberry bush still nourishes and bids fair to 
be a lasting boundary to < loci's acre. 

c County Rec Reg. Office Book of Deeds, Lib. T. p. 253, 



White and Lydia his wife gave the Dutch Reformed church on the 
26th of December, 1799, a quit claim deed of which the following is an 
abstract : 

"Between Charles White of the City of New York, merchant and Lydia his 
wife of the first part and Hercules Lent, Peter Goetschins, Abraham Lent, 
Martin Post, Richard SchiggeX Samuel Vessels, John H. Lent and Abraham 
Montross, the elders and deacons of the Reformed Dutch church of the Manor of 
Cortlandt in the County of Westchester and State of New York of the second 
part, for the sum of one dollar grants, confirms, &c. , all the land before recited 
in Cockcroft's deed to the elders and deacons to the said parties of the first part 
their heirs and assigns for ever a pew nearly square, sufficiently large enough to 
contain ten persons in the church now erected on the said premises and likewise 
that the small building or school house also erected on the said premises shall al- 
ways be and remain for the use of a public school, &c." 

" Chaeles White & Lydia Whtie.''« 

It is claimed, however, that Mrs. White (alias Cockcroft) had pre- 
viously conveyed seven hundred acres of land in water lot No. 7, ex- 
tending from Hudson River to the Furnace woods on the coast to 
Stephanus Hunt, which included the church property ; so that the 
Dutch Reformed church actually held under Hunt for some time by 
peaceable possession. Be this as it may, Elias Hunt, son of Stephanus, 
subsequently conveyed to this society the sixteen acres they now hold 
inclusive of the one acre, two quarters and three rods conveyed by Cock- 
croft in 1795. 

In the cemetery surrounding the church are several monuments to 
the Lents, Montross's, Brinckerhoffs, &c, &c; also a plain head stone 
inscribed as follows: — 


to the memory of 


who died the 21st of Sept., A. D. 1828, 

aged 70 years, 5 months, 

and 20 days, 

having been for 35 years an elder 

of the Reformed Dutch Church in 

Cortlandtown, and died as he lived 

a Christian. 

" ' The silent tomb and rising hillocks show, 
TjLe way, the end of mortals here below ; 
But silent tombs nor hillocks can affright 
The soul of him whose ways are just and right. 
How calm the righteous man with God his friend ; 
Peace crowns his life, and happiness his end.' " 

a Copied from original document in possession of the consistory of the Ref. Church, Cort- 


The following minutes are extracted from the recowls of the New 
York Classis : — 

Flatbush, April 24, 1792, the Rev. Classis "appoint the Rev. Mr. 
Jackson* to visit the congregation at the Cortlandt's manor, between 
this and the next session, and report to Classis the state of that congre- 

Sept. 4, 1792, Mr. Jackson reports to Classis that he has fulfilled his 
commission, and finds the congregation have lost their church, dimin- 
ished in number, and greatly dispersed. 

Resolved, that Mr. Jackson shall again visit them as soon as conven- 
ient between this and next spring to organize the consistory, and to do 
any thing in his power to collect the congregation. 

April 30, 1793, Rev. G. A. Kuypers and Rev. Peter Stryker, each 
with an elder, appointed by Classis to visit the vacant congregations at 
Cortlandt's manor as soon as possible, in order to organize a consistory, 
&c, &c. Rev. Mr. Brush and Brouwer ordered to preach in their ab- 
sence in their pulpits, and after they have accomplished their mission to 
repair to the same place, and preach there at least each one Sabbath. d 

September 2, 1794, ordered that Mr. Jackson visit the congregation 
of Cortlandt manor, the second Lord's day September instant ; also, 
that Mr. Schoonmaker visit said congregation once in the meantime 
between this and next meeting. e 

Also ordered, that the Rev, Mr. Sickles in the course of this fall visit 
Peekskill, and apply to the Classis of Albany for recommendation to 
visit their vacancies. 

1797, Rev. Mr. Lowe reports that he has fulfilled his mission to Cort- 

Mr. Abeel appointed-'' 1798. Mr. Abeel reports that he has fulfilled 
his appointment. 

' Ordered that the candidates now under the care of this Classis sup- 
ply each one Sabbath at Cortlandtown, and that Mr. Jackson preach 
and administer the Lord's Supper once during the said time. 

May 8, 1800, a call made out by the church of Cortlandtown upon 
the Rev. William Manly, was laid before the Classis for aprobation. 
Upon reading the same, it was found to be in due form, and subscribed 
by three elders and four deacons, but not authorized by any minister 
as the moderator of the call. Dr. Peter Goetchius, one of the subscrib- 
ing elders, appearing before the Classis, attested to his own signature 
and that of the other subscribers, and gave sufficient reasons why a 
neighboring minister could not assist in completing the document. It 
was approved and endorsed.? 

a To this individual, (under God,) the Reformed Dutch Church in Cortlandtown is indebted 
for her re-establishment and present success. 
b Rec.of N. Y. Classis, vol. I, 110. 
c Rec. of N. Y. Classis, voi. i, 113. 
d Rec. of N. Y. Classis, vol. i, 123. 
e Rec. N. Y. Classis, vol. i. I 13 
/ Rec. N. Y. Classis, vol. i, 187. 
g Rec. N. Y. Classis, vol. I, 221. 



The Dutch Reformed Church of Cortlandtown was incorporated 30th 
December, 1794; first trustees, William Lent, Peter Goetchius, Hercu- 
les Lent, elders; Abraham Lent, Benjamin Dyckman, Jacobus Kronk- 
hite, deacons. a 

To this church was formerly annexed the Van Nest Reformed Dutch 
chapel at Peekskill. A mission was commenced by the present pastor, 
nth Nov., 1876, at Verplank's Point ; land has been given for the erec- 
tion of a chapel, and there is good prospect of success. Prior to the 
year 1801, supplies were obtained weekly from this church from New 


Date of Instalment. Minsters. Vacated by. 

April, 1800, Rev. William Manly, & Death. 

March 27, 1810, Rev. Abraham Hoffman, Resig. 

October 21, 1831, Robert Kirkwood, 

October 3, 1836, Rev. Cornelius Depew Westbrook, D.D., 

September, 1850, Rev. Samuel Lockwood, 

August, 1853, Rev. John B. Steele, 

1859, Rev. John St. John, 

1867, Rev. Polhemus Van Wyck, 

1870, Rev. John C. Garretson, 

1874, Rev. John B. Thompson, 

May 25, 1875, Rev. Joseph Alexander Harper, present minister. 

One of the principal professors in this neighborhood in former times 
was Stephanus Hunt, son of Josiah Hunt of Flushing, L. I., who came 
originally from England. His two younger sons were Lewis Hunt who 
settled at Chappaqua, W. C. C. and Edmund Hunt. Stephanus the 
eldest purchased, as we have already had occasion to show, 700 acres 
of land in the manor of Cortlandt ; and left four sons John, Daniel, 
Josiah and Elias, to each of whom their father set off 50 acres. Elias 
married Hannah, daughter of Dennis Lent Odel who is still living on a 
part of the old farm 

Between Verplanck's Point and Crugers is Montross Point, where 
there is a small hamlet and several fine residences ; there is a brick 
yard owned by John D. Karet and occupied by Cyrus Travis — employing 
about 25 men and disbursing-some $8,000 during the season. A little 
north, just below Verplanck's Point, are two brick yards owned by 
Charles Jones and occupied by Kelly and O'Brien — employing about 90 
men, and paying out about $20,000 per season. 

a Religious Soc. Lib. A. p. 78. 
b Brother of General Manly. 


Near Cruger's, a short distance south from Montross Point is situated 
the Protestant Episcopal church called " The Church of the Divine 
Love." This edifice is substantially the work of the Rev. Gouverneur 
Cruger who was architect and also — to a large extent — builder. The 
church and its Sunday School, which are built of brick, cost about ten 
thousand dollars, and to it is attached a neat and commodious rectory 
also of brick. The corner stone of this building was laid by the Rev. 
T. L. Johnson, D.D., on St. Barnabas' day June nth, 1869, and was 
consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, D.D., on Friday, Sept. 
15th, 187 1. The chandeliers and lamps of elegant pattern and device, 
were the gifts of W. G. Kortright, Esq., of New York. The communion 
silver was presented by Mrs. Nicholas Cruger. The organ which cost 
eleven hundred dollars was built by Carhart & Needham, and was the 
gift of the Rev. Gouverneur Cruger. The font is of Caen stone with 
elaborate design. The tower contains a Meneely bell, of one thousand 
pounds. The Rev. Gouverneur Cruger is the rector. 

At a short distance below Montrose, stands Boscobel House, so 
named from the splendid white oak trees which once surrounded it, 
after the old Boscobel House in England, which was also noted for its 
far famed oaks, the late residence of Staats Morris Dyckman, Esq., at 
present occupied by his grand-daughter, Elizabeth, wife of John P. Cru- 
ger. This house, erected in 1792, is built in the French style; and oc- 
cupies a very pleasant spot on the brow of a high hill overlooking the 
river, the Island of Oscawana, and adjacent country. On the south- 
east is to be seen Croton Point, with Irvington in the distance; while 
far beyond looms up Dobb's Ferry, with Paulding Castle rising 
above it. 

On the south is plainly visible the Clove, High Tarn, Haverstraw Bay 
and village — while on the west are fine views of Stony Point, Grassy 
Point and North Haverstraw. The grounds surrounding the mansion 
are greatly enriched with luxuriant woods and plantations. Just below 
at the foot of the terrace is a fine spring house, reached by a flight of 
stone steps. About seven years ago during a heavy drought, this peren- 
nial spring supplied the whole neighborhood with water. Overshadow- 
ing the top of the spring house is a venerable white oak four or five feet 
in diameter, while near by are groups of horse-chestnuts, originally im- 
ported in pots from England, also fine groves of locust trees. The beau- 
tiful Island of Oscawana, through which the Hudson River rail road 
passes by a tunnel, once formed a portion of the Cruger estate, but now 
belonging to Henry P. DeGraff, Esq. 

Staats Morris Dyckman, the former proprietor, was the fifth son of 


Jacob Dyckman ft of Philipsburgh, and the protege of Gen. Staats Morris, 
he was also for many years the private secretary of Sir William Erskine, 
(Commissary General of the British army) in which capacity he attend- 
ed the latter to Europe. Sir William died in 1795, leaving a large and 
valuable property to his secretary. 

Soon after the death of his friend, Mr. Dyckman returned to his na- 
tive country, purchased the Boscobel estate, and erected the present 
mansion. After the Revolutionary war the English Government in 
gratitude for services rendered, presented Mr. Dyckman with a full set 
of diamonds, and a golden urn 18 inches high. As stated above, 
Elizabeth, wife of Col. John P. Cruger, was the daughter of Peter C. 
Dyckman, the son of Staats Morris, by his wife Eliza Kennedy. In the 
possession of Mr. Cruger, is a "loving cup," used for family christen- 
ings, brought from Ireland by James Kennedy, more than a hundred 
years ago; marked, "B. K" 6 

The library at Boscobel formerly contained a valuable collection of 
books, (amounting to 6,000 volumes) most of which were accidentally 
destroyed by fire, but twenty volumes still remain of the old collection. 

Among other rare books, are the modern part of a Universal History 
of London, 1781, in 65 volumes; "from the earliest accounts to the 
present time, compiled from original authors." The Annual Register, 
from 1750 to 1800, 44 volumes printed 1791, Encyclopedia Brittanica, 
20 volumes, London, 1797. Junins, in several volumes richly bound in 
vellum, 1797. An account of the preservation of King Charles II, 
after the battle of Worcester, drawn up by himself, &c, London, 1803 
containing portraits of Charles the Second, Richard Penderell, Mrs. Jane 
Lane, His Excellency Lieut. Gen. Dalyell, of Brims, Commander-in- 
Chief of His Majesty's forces in Scotland, 1666-1685, Boscobel House 
with its timbered gables and tower, with antique garden. There are 
three volumes of Bible, Old and New Testament. British Theatre 34 
volumes, 1795; Porcupine's Works, &c, by William Cobbett, 12 vol- 
umes, London, May, 1801; Orlando Furisso, translated from Italian by 
Judovi co Ariosto, with notes by John Hoole, London, 1799; Jirmen 
Theatre, translated by Benjamin Thompson, Esq., in 6 volumes, Lon- 
don, 1 80 1 ; Cook's Voyages, 8 volumes quarto, London, 1785; Bruce's 
Travels to discover the source of the Nile, 1768-1773, Edinborough, 

a Jacob Dyckman resided on the Taite property situated on the road leading to King's Ferry 
on Verplanck's Point, near Green's Cove. 

b The arms of Kennedy (Johnstown County Dublin, Bart.) Sa on a fesse ar. betw. three 
helmets close, a fox courant, ppr. Crest a demiarm embowed in armour ppr. holding a branch 
of oak— motto— Adhasreo Virtetti. 

c Some portions of the second library brought by Staats Morris Dyckman from England, 
were sold to Chancellor Livingston. 


1790; A Discourse of the Liberty of Prophecying, by Jeremy Taylor. 
D.D., Chaplain in ordinary to His Majesty King Charles the First, and 
Bishop in time of Charles the Second of Downe and Connor in Ireland 
printed for R. Royston, 1647. This book contains not that prelate's 
real sentiments, but was designed to show what plausible arguments 
every sect and party of Christains had to say in favor of their particular 
opinions, &c." Works of Homer translated from the Greek into Eng- 
lish verse by Alexander Pope in 7 volumes, London, Anno, 1794. Bell's 
Edition of William Shakespeare, printed complete from the text of Sam- 
uel Johnson and George Steeves, &c, London, 1785. 

The pictures consist of the following: James Ogilvie (Earl of Find- 
later), by Stuart ; this individual was the intimate friend of Mrs. Staats 
Dyckman and was a frequent visitor at Boscobel House, and teacher of 
Elocution in New York City. Mrs. Staats M. Dyckman or Eliza Corne 
grand-daughter of of Peter Corne, by Jarvis; Miniature of Staats Morris 
Dyckman, Miniature of Peter Corne, Miniature of Holy Family, by 
Michael Angelo ; picture of Holy Family by Raphael, the latter was 
brought from England by Staats Mooris Dyckman ; Miniature in ivory 
of George the Third and Queen Charlotte executed by English prisoners 
in India. 

The finding of Moses, Queen Charlotte as Pharaoh's daughter and 
attendants ; another representing the drawing of Moses out of the water, 
the group of females representing the queen and attendants. Here is 
preserved Major John Andre's flute presented to Mrs. Cruger's grand- 
father ; also a gold enameled snuff-box made of the veritable Boscobel 
oak in which Charles the Second was concealed in 165 containing a 
medallion of that monarch. The sconcers of cut glass are very fine, 
likewise the antique mantel-clock in French ormolu. 

On the Boscobel estate is situated St. Augustine's chapel a small 
Gothic edifice of wood with porch and recess chancel, beautifully shaded 
with vines and trees. In the rear of this building are fine views of the 
river, the brick yards and village of Crugers. On the east is Hessian 
Hill which was occupied by the Hessians during the Revolutionary 

The Island of Oscawana and neighboring shores immediately around 
Boscobel must have been favorite resorts of the Kitchawan Indians. 
Indian axes and pestles have been found in the gardens and clay banks 
adjoining, as well as several skeletons. 

In the vicinity of Boscobel House is situated the small hamlet and 
landing of Cruger's, a name derived from the Cruger family, who have 
long possessed estates in the immediate neighborhood. 


"John Cruger" a was the first of that name who "came from Germany 
to America previous to the year 1700, and resided in the city of New 
York. An old record in the possession of Mr. John C. Cruger, of Cu- 
ger's Island, Dutchess county, N.Y., says "From the traditionary account 
in the family and from the coat of arms which he brought with him, it 
is supposed he was descended from the family of Baron Von Cruger. 
The name of that family was always spelt with a C, while that of the 
commonality in Germany is spelt with a K." The name itself in its 
origin is a corruption, undoubtedly, of the Latin, Cruciger, or cross- 

He was a merchant, a high-toned gentleman and a prominent citizen 
of New York during the first half of the eighteenth century. He was 
elected alderman of the Dock Ward in 171 2, and held the office till 
1733 inclusive — the long period of twenty-two years. In 1739 ne be- 
came Mayor of the city, and remained in office till his death on 13th 
August, 1744. 

He married in 1702, Maria, eldest daughter of Hendrick Cuyler of 
Albany, the first of that name in America, and Anne his wife, and had 
three sons Henry, John and Tileman. Tileman died a young man and 

"John, the youngest son who never married, was like his father, emin- 
ent as a merchant, and in political life." He was Alderman and Mayor 
of New York, Speaker of the Provincial Assembly, delegate to the famous 
Congress of 1765, with Messrs. Bayard and Lispenard, and first Presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Commerce of New York. He died at Kinder- 
hook in 1792. 

"Henry Cruger, the eldest of the two surviving sons of John Cruger 
the first, who was born 25th November, 1707, in New York, resided 
for many years in that city, and was also in political life. He was a 
member of the Assembly from 1745 to 1759, and subsequently was ap- 
pointed to the Council of the Province, and served till 1773, when he 
resigned and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Harris Cruger. In 
May, 1775, his health was impaired, he went to England and resided at 
Bristol with his second son, Henry, the Member of Parliament for that 
city. He died there in 1778, and lies buried in the centre aisle of the 
Bristol Cathedral. He married for his first wife, on 28th of September, 
1734, a lady of Jamaica, the widow of Patrick Montgomery of that Island 

a In the library of Mr. John C. Cruger, of Cruger's Island,, Dutchess county, is the Dutch 
family Bible of the first John Cruger, printed at Dort in 1688. The arms are from an ancient 
iron seal which belonged to John Cruger : — Argent a bend azure charged with three martlets, 
or, betw. two grayhounds currant proper— Motto— Deo non Fortuna— Crest— A demi gray- 
hound saliant, gorged or, Motto— beneath the wreath— Fidis. 


whose maiden name was Koughter or Slaughter : but she died without 
children. His second wife was a Miss Harris of the same Island, by 
whom he had four sons and two daughters. His eldest s< >n was John 
Harris Cruger who succeeded his father in 1773 as one of the Gover- 
nor's Council, he was also Chamberlain of the city of New York, and was 
commissioned Lieut. Colonel of the First battalion or regiment, General 
de Lancey himself, being the Colonel. After the war he went to Eng- 
land and resided at Beverley in Yorkshire, where he died without issue. 

Henry Cruger, the second son, educated at King's College, N. Y., was 
in 1757 sent bydiis father to Bristol, England, to enter a counting-house. 
He became a successful and popular merchant of that city, which he 
made his home. In 1774, he and Edmund Burke were nominated for 
Members of Parliament for Bristol, and after a sharp contest, elected. 
He was also once Sheriff of Bristol, and in 1781 was elected its Mayor. 
In 1784, he was again elected to Parliament." In 1790 he declined re- 
election, having determined to return to America and reside there for 
the rest of his life, and in the same year came back with his family to 
his native city. He was soon engaged in politics, and notwithstanding 
his service in Parliament, and especially his re-election in 1784, after the 
peace of 1783, and subsequent service of about six years, he was, in 
1792, elected a Senator of the State of New York, and served as such. 
His residence during the latter part of his life was at 382 Greemvich 
street, N. Y., where he died 24th of April, 1827, aged 88 years. 

His first wife was Miss Peach, daughter of Samuel Peach the great 
Banker of Bristol, by whom he had one child, Samuel Peach Cruger, 
who subsequently took the surname of Peach, and was the late Samuel 
Peach Peach of Tackington House, Gloucester in England, who mar- 
ried a daughter of William Miles, of Leigh Court, near Bristol; they had 
one child, Emma Sarah, who married in 1820, Lord John Murray-Ayns- 
ley, a grandson of John Murray, Duke of Athol. 

The second wife of Henry Cruger, was Miss Caroline Elizabeth Blair. 
Their eldest son was Henry H. Cruger who married Mary, daughter of 
Nicolas Cruger, his first cousin. Their second son was William Cru- 
ger, and their third son was John Cruger who was the father of Henry 
Cruger, the late Hon. Nicholas Cruger and Col. John Peach Cruger" of 
Boscobel House, Crugers, Westchester county, who possesses the large 
silver pitcher, presented by the citizens of Bristol, England, to his grand- 
father, the Hon. Henry Cruger, when a resident of that city. 

a For most of the foregoing sketch relating to the Cruger's, we are indebted to an article 
in the New York Gen. and Kiog.. ltec. vol. vi, No. 2 ; entitled Family Records, Cruger. Con- 
tributed by Edward F. DeLancey. 


Just south of Ouger's is the Island of Oscawana, now owned by Hen- 
ry P. DeGraff, President of the Bowery Bank, who is so largely interes- 
ted in property at Cruger's, and also owner of Iona Island. Mr. De 
Graff , is now erecting a splendid mansion of brick with suitable out- 
buildings, on the high grounds of Oscowana, overlooking the splendid 
scenery of the Hudson River. At Cruger's there are four brick- yards 
owned by John Peach Cruger, and occupied by D. J. Haight, employ- 
ing about one hundred and twenty men, and paying out about $23,400 
for labor during the season. On George's Island, about one-half a mile 
above Cruger's, there are three brickyards employing about one hundred 
and twenty men, and occupied by William Tompkins, paying about 
$25,000. A little to the north of this are two more brick yards, owned 
and occupied by Orrin Frost, employing about eighty men, and paying 
out about $20,000 during the season. On the turnpike leading to Peek- 
skill is the hamlet of Boscobel; here is a Methodist Episcopal 
church erected in 1868, of which the Rev. Mr. Blake is the present pas- 
tor. The celebrated Lieutenant William Mosier, or Mosher, of the 
Revolution, formerly resided in this neighborhood. His brother Abel 
Mosher, left a son Daniel whose son is the present Isaac Mosher of 

A small mountain stream enters the Hudson near Boscobel called the 
Furnace brook, upon which stood the manorial mills, long since super- 
seded by Ramsay's mill now owned by Mr. Phelps above Crugers; crown- 
ing the bold banks of the mountain torrent is situated the Cortlandt 
Furnace, which has given name not only to the brook but to an exten- 
sive tract of forest, consisting of 1,500 acres called the " Furance Wood," 
on the borders of which are numerous peat beds. 

In the year 1760 a mining company was established in England, and 
German miners employed for the purpose of obtaining and smelting iron 
ore in this vicinity. It would appear, however, that the ore was not 
found here in sufficient abundance ; for, at a vast expense, we find it 
subsequently transported from the Queensburg mine, in the forest of 
Dean, Rockland county, by the route of King's ferry, and melted in 
this furnace. But even in Rockland County the ore was not found in 
sufficient quantities to render it of any importance, so that prior to the 
Revolution, the enterprise was wholly abandoned, and the property sold 
to Mr. John Ramsay whose daughter married John Cruger, father of 
John P. Cruger. The furnace woods are now held by various proprietors. 
Mr. Benjamin Odell occupies the Ramsay residence and mill. The 
mansion house of the late Hon. Nicholas Cruger, who for several years 
represented this county in assembly, is delightfully situated near the land- 


ing commanding from its elevated position, most extensive views of the 
river • and is now occupied by his widow. 

Croton village in the lower part of this town is situated on the north 
side of the river of that name near its confluence with the Hudson. At 
the intersection of the New York and Albany Post Road with the road 
leading to the railroad station is the Protestant Episcopal church of St. 
Augustine. Episcopal services were also performed at the village of 
Croton, in this parish, by Mr. Wetmore in 1756, by the Rev. Mr. Dibble 
in 1761, and by the Rey. Mr. Punderson in 1763, who says, "that he 
preached a lecture there, the people giving a cheerful attendance, &c." 

The lot on which it stands was the gift of Philip G. Van Wyck, Esq., a 
grandson of the late Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt. 

The Methodist Episcopal church, which was erected soon after the 
Revolutionary war (some say 1796-7), occupies a commanding position 
on a knoll overlooking the Albany and New York Post road. The land 
on which it stands, including the cemetery, consisting of four acres was 
the gift of the Hon. Pierre Van Cortlandt first Lieutenant-Governor of 
the State just previous to the erection of the church edifice. The 
Lieutenant-Governor is said to have joined the Methodist body through 
the influence of Mr. Freeborn Garretson who married his wife's cousin. 
This society are now erecting a new structure of brick which has already 
cost in the neighborhood of $4,000 ; but the situation chosen is a very 
low one and far inferior to the site of the old structure. The present 
pastor is the Rev. Mr. Ronalds. The Friends Meeting-house is in the 
immediate neighborhood of the latter. Here is a convenient landing 
known as the Collabergh landing from whence sloops ply to the city of 
New York, and other places on the Hudson River. There is also the 
Croton landing, Depot of the Hudson River Railroad, telegraph station, 
Post Office, numerous fine dwellings and stores — together with five brick 
yards owned by Mr. Philip G. Van Wyck, Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt 
and Mr. John Cocks, and occupied by Geo. W. Morton, Nicholas 
Mehrhoff & Bro., and George J. Barlow, employing about 150 men and 
paying out some $35,000 per season. To the east of Croton village, 
the Collabergh mountains — a high ridge encompassed by woods — towers 
far above the surrounding hills, at the foot of which is situated the 
Collabergh pond (a beautiful sylvan lake in miniature) supplied by never- 
failing springs of pure water. 

Near the mouth of the Croton River stands the Cortlandt Manor 
House, late the residence of Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt, but now 
in possession of his nephew, Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt. This venerable 
mansion, one of the oldest edifices now remaining on the borders of the 


Hudson was built soon after the erection of the Manor by Johannes Van 
Cortlandt, eldest son of De Hur Stephanus Van Cortlandt first lord of 
the Manor. Although tradition says that when Van Cortlandt purchase^ 
from Governor Thomas Dongan, in 1683-4, the domain of Kitchawan, 
the latter had already begun improvements, intending to complete a 
fortified country seat for the convenience of fishing, hawking and hunt- 
ing in the neighboring waters, low lands and forests. Tradition also 
adds, that Dongan planted apple-trees not far from the site of the Manor 
house. A variety of the fruit known as the " Dongan apple," is yet 
grown on the estate. Quaint and picturesque in form, the old house 
harmonizes well with its natural surroundings. It stands near the foot 
of an abrupt slope of a high wooded hill, that shelters it from the keen 
northern blasts of winter. Before it, is a fine lawn, gently sloping to the 
water's edge, and shaded by magnificent trees. 

The manor house was built for the two-fold purpose of a country 
residence and a fort. Its solid walls of gray stone, three feet in thick- 
ness, were pierced on every side with loop-holes for musketry. Some of 
these may yet be seen in the rear walls, and one in particular that has 
been recently opened on the front or south side of the dinning-room 
which presents the form of the Egyptian T. H. T. One of the principal 
objects the builder (whether Governor Dongan or Johannes Van Cort- 
landt) had in view was security against the Indians, who at one time 
were very numerous in this neighborhood.* In fact its noble owners 
never knew when they were secure from the inroads of the savages, but 
in proportion to the strength and security of their habitation. The 
principal sachem of Kitchtawan, when Stephanus Van Cortlandt made 
the purchase, was Sackima Wicker, a son probably of the illustrious 
Indian warrior Croton or Noten, who had for a long period lived and 
exercised his authority at the mouth of the river still bearing his name. 
This war-like individual had erected in his life time a fort on the Point, 
a little south-west of where the manor house now stands well guarded 
and protected, as a defence for his rich domain against hostile intruders. 

A large Indian bow now lies across a pair of magnificent moose- 
antlers over the main entrance door to the mansion, which was given, it 
is said, by that sachem to the first lord of the manor, and has been 
handed down to the present proprietor. But to return to our description 
of the house — it has a high basement, a second story, which includes the 
principal apartments; and a third, lighted by dormer-windows. Around 
the front and ends of the mansion is a broad veranda, shaded by trail- 

er Still preserved at the manor house are various articles of Indian pottery, hatchets, pipes, 
pestles, chopping Knives and arrow heads all dug up in this vicinity at various dates. 


ing vines. From it the eye may take in, at a glance, Croton Bay (the 
Kitchtawan of the Indians so-called on account of the abundance of 
wild-fowl that frequented it), over which stretches the Hudson River 
Railway. Croton Point, so famous for its grapes and wine, and the 
broad expanse of the Tappan Sea, made classical by the genius of 
Irving ; and the Hudson River, with both its shores, as far down as 
Dobbs's Ferry on the east, and Point-no-point on the west. Turning to 
the right, and looking over Croton Point (se-was-qua), the high and 
rugged range of Tom Mountains, extending back of the village of Haver- 
straw, breaks upon the vision ; while in the foreground is seen Haver- 
straw Bay, famous with clustering associations of the treason of 
Arnold and the fate of Andre. 

Eastward of the mansion, and lying parallel with the Croton, is a 
spacious garden or pleasure-ground, rich with choice flowers and table del- 
icacies. A long walk leads through this garden to the ancient "Ferry 
House," about which gather memories of incidents of the old war for 
Independence. A pleasant road up to the high bridge of the Croton at 
the old head of navigation — a rickety structure, which seemed ready 
to tumble into the stream more than a dozen years ago. During the 
Revolutionary war there was no bridge between the mouth of the Croton 
and the old "Pine Bridge," until the "Continental" or "New Bridge" 
was erected, and that stood about a mile east of the present structure;" 
so that old "Pines Bridge" which crossed the Croton about a mile above 
the present dam, is the famous one so often spoken of in the narratives 
of events on the "Neutral Ground" during the war for Independence. 
This ancient Ferry did all the transportation between the latter region 
and the American lines. The bay is making rapid progress toward 
the condition of a salt meadow. In 1840, the swollen Croton River 
broke away the dam connected with the aqueduct by which New York 
city is supplied with water, and swept down into the bay, an enormous 
quantity of earth, on which occasion the river, directly opposite the 
mansion, rose suddenly to the height of eight feet above the ordinary 
tide level, while up the river about half a mile to the eastward, it ex- 
ceeded fifty feet. Where the Shad and Herring fishery was once car- 
ried on successfully, is now an oozy marsh; where vessels before rode 
at anchor, green grass may now be seen at low tide. It is said that the 
bay was once famous, too, throughout the country as the favorite resort 
of vast flocks of canvass back ducks. Into the mouth of that bay, — 
according to the leagues, latitude and topograhy given in the log-book 

a Testimony of David Merritt of Cortlandtown. McDonald MSS. in possession of George 
H. Moore, Esq., of Is'ew York liist. Society. 


of the navigator, — Henry Hudson sailed and anchored the "Half-Moon" 
at sunset on Sunday, the ist of October, 1609, O. S., or about seventy- 
five years before the manor-house was built. 

As we have previously shown, when Stephanus Van Cortlandt became 
full proprietor of the grand domain, it was erected into the Lordship and 
Manor of Cortlandt, by royal charter, bearing the date of June 17, 1697. 
That charter, written on parchment, and preserved at the manor-house, 
with the circular tin box containing the crumpled royal seal, has upon it 
a well engraved portrait of the royal grantor, King William III, of Eng- 
land, &c. 

Tradition says that for the purpose of surveying the lands to be inclu- 
ded in the royal charter of 1697, Stephanus Van Cortlandt started from 
the Croton in a per-i-auger, having on board a party of surveyors, ac- 
companied by several Indians, who were designed to act as pioneers ; 
proceeding up the Hudson, they disembarked at St. Anthony's Nose 
where the Indians were immediately started on a day's walk, or journey, 
as they termed it, into the wilderness (20 English miles) to mark the 
northern and eastern boundaries of the eighty-three thousand acres to be 
included in the grand domain. Van Cortlandt and some of the party 
remaining on St. Anthony's Nose near the red cedar tree which was to 
mark the north-west corner of Cortlandt manor, and the southernmost 
bounds of Adolph Philips's patent, and now marks the dividing lines 
between Westchester and Putnam counties. 

The manor-house is distinguished not only for its antiquity, but for 
the character of its tenantry, guests, and its scenes. Its earlier owners 
were notable men in the annals of the Province and State of New York. 
Doubtless at the table, there sat most of the Provincial Governors, from 
Hunter and Ingolsby down to Colden, at the kindling of the Revolu- 
tion, with whom the Van Cortlandt's sympathized. The career of Leis- 
ler had drawn party lines very distinctly, and some of the governors 
could not have been welcome at the manor-house. After the Revolu- 
tion such staunch patriots were ever welcome, as Governor George Clin- 
ton (whose daughter was the wife of Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt,) Gen. 
Schuyler, Robert Livingston, John Jay and others. "Citizen" Genet) 
who also married a daughter of Clinton, was frequently there, and also 
distinguished travelers from abroad. Colonel Brant, the Mohawk chief, 
dined there once under peculiar circumstances. One Sunday, while at- 
tending divine service in a little church near Croton, Col. Van Cort- 
landt saw a well dressed Indian leaning upon a window sill listening to 
the sermon. On learning that it was Brant, who was stopping at a tav- 
ern near by, he sent an invitation to the chief to come and dine with 


him. The late war became the topic of conversation. The Colonel had 
once chased Brant, and had been conscious that Indian sharpshooters 
had attempted to kill him while he was leaning against a tree. When 
the Colonel spoke of this, Brant replied, "I ordered one of my best 
marksmen to pick you off but you seemed bullet-proof." 

The eminent George Whitefield once preached eloquently to Van 
Cortlandt's assembled tennants from the veranda of the manor-house. 
Dr. Franklin rested there when he was returning from his fatiguing mis- 
sion to Canada, late in the spring of 1776, journeying from Albany to 
New York in Gen. Schuyler's post-chaise. Washington was many times 
at the mansion, while the American army lay on the shores of the Hud- 
son. There Col. Henry B. Livingston had his quarters while watching 
the Vulture, off Teller's (now Croton) Point, at the time of the treason 
of Arnold. There Lafayette, and Rochambeau, and the Duke de Lau- 
zun, were entertained; and the manor-house was always open as a rest- 
ing place of some of the most eminent of the Methodist preachers, such 
as Asbury and Garretson, in the early days of the American branch of 
that church. 

He who extended these hospitalities for the period of half a century 
or more, was Pierre Van Cortlandt — who was a member of the New 
York Provincial Congress, chairman of the New York Committee of 
Safety, and for eighteen successive years from the organization of the 
State Government, in 1777, was Lieut. Governor of the Commonwealth. 
He espoused the cause of the patriots at the beginning. Crown officers 
in America tried to win him to the Tory side. In 1774, Gov. Tryon 
essayed to seduce him. The event is best related in the words of his 
eldest son, Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt, at that time twenty-five years of 
age: — "I remember," he records in his diary, " Gov. Tryon came in a 
vessel, bringing his wife and a young lady, who was a daughter of the 
Hon. John Watts, a relative of my father, and Col. Edmund Fanning, his 
friend and secretary; and after remaining a night he proposed a walk, 
and after proceeding to the highest point of land on the farm, being a 
height which affords a most delightful prospect; when the governor 
commenced with observing what great favors could be obtained if my 
father would relinquish his opposition to the views of the King and Par- 
liament of Great Britain, what grants of land could and would be the 
consequence, in addition to other favors of eminence, consequence, &c. 
My father then observed that he was chosen a representative by the 
unanimous approbation of a people who placed confidence in his integ- 
rity to use all his ability for their benefit and the good of his country, as 
a true patriot, which line of conduct he was determined to pursue. The 


Gov. then turned to Col. Fanning and said : ' I find our business here 
must terminate, for nothing can be effected in this place, so we will re- 
turn;' which they did by taking a short and hasty farewell, and em- 
barked on board the sloop and returned to New York. This was in 
the year 1774."* 

The patriot suffered for his principles during the war that ensued. 
His wife, Joanna Livingston, fled before the invading British to Living- 
ston's manor. The house was plundered. Even carved wainscoting was 
carried away, and made to grace a mansion in New York; and the Dutch 
tiles around a fireplace were taken out and used as dining plates. 

Gov. Van Cortlandt died in 1814, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. 
His son, Philip, who was a distinguished officer in the Continental army 
during the War for Independence, was the last heir of the entail. He 
kept up the hospitalities of the mansion until his death, in 1 83 1 ; when 
the estate passed into the possession of its present owner, Col. Pierre 
Van Cortlandt (son of Philip's third brother, Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt), 
who inherited it from his uncle. This gentleman married Catharine, 
daughter of the late eminent Dr. Theodrick Romeyn Beck, of Albany. 
He became the first proprietor of the estate in fee simple. Like their 
predecessors, he and his accomplished wife dispense a refined hospitality 
to friends and strangers. 

The Manor house contains interesting pictures, manuscripts and 
relicts of the past. There may be seen full-length portraits of the earlier 
Van Cortlandts in their younger days — one representing John Van Cort- 
landt as a boy of about twelve years of age, dressed in a long blue coat 
reaching to the knees, with large cuffs turned up to the elbows, knee 
breeches, scarlet stockings, high shoes and silver buckles, his right hand 
resting on a stag. It deserves to be mentioned here that the head and 
horns of this very animal (as descendants of that wild race which 
anciently spread from the Hudson to Connecticut) are still preserved in 
the hall. The late General Pierre Van Cortlandt has left this memoran- 
dum relative to them — " That the deer of which this is the head and 
horns was raised by my uncle John Van Cortlandt about the year 1730, 
and which head and horns has been preserved and kept by my late father 
until his death and still by me. Pierre Van Cortlandt." Another portrait 
represents Pierre (afterwards Lieutenant-Governor) as a boy of about ten 
years of age, in a scarlet coat, with white silk stockings and a grey-hound 
by his side. Abraham, still older, is depicted in a russet coat and red 
stockings, with high-heeled shoes and buckles. These paintings are said 
to be over 1 40 years old, and represent three sons of Philip Van Cort- 
es Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt's Diary. 


landt and Catherine de Peyster. Beside the above there is a fine por- 
trait of Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt, painted by Jarvis; 
Joanna, wife of the Governor, and third daughter of Gilbert Livingston 
and Cornelia Beekman; General Pierre Van Cortlandt, by Collins; 
Catharine, first wife of the General and eldest daugther of George Clin- 
ton, Vice-President of the United States, by Aimes ; Anne Stevenson, 
second wife of General Pierre Van Cortlandt, by Aimes ; Mrs. Mag- 
delen Stevenson, mother of Ann, by Aimes ; Col. Pierre Van Cortlandt 
and Mrs. Catharine E. Van Cortlandt, his wife, daughter of Dr. Theo- 
drick Romeyn Beck ; Theodrick Romeyn Beck of Albany, author of 
Beck's Medical Jurisprudence, &c, and members of the family, some of 
them painted by the late Charles L. Elliott ; also a medallion portrait of 
Dr. T. R. Beck, by Palmer j portraits of George Clinton, Vice-President 
of the United States and Governor of New York and lady, in crayons, 
by St. Menor Valdenuit; miniatures of George Clinton, Pierre Van 
Cortlandt and Gilbert Van Cortlandt, by Edward Malbon ; and Cath- 
arine Clinton Van Cortlandt, artist unknown; a portrait of Brant, painted 
from life at Albany for William Caldwell, Esq., of Albany, the grandfather 
of Mrs. C. E. Van Cortlandt, and over the top of the frame is thrown a 
sash that belonged to the chief. 

Among the family plate is the " large silver tankard marked with the 
family coat of arms," which in 1754 was bequeathed by Stephen Van 
Cortlandt (son of Philip and grandson of Stephanus first lord of the 
Manor) to his eldest son Col. Philip Van Cortlandt, who afterwards took 
such an active part against the Revolution ; a silver shaving cup or 
christening bowl with two handles, very curious, brought to this country 
by Oloff Stevenson Van Cortlandt from Holland in 1638; a gold pap- 
spoon, with little golden bells on the handle to charm the babe while it 
was feeding, which was also brought from Holland ; a silver tea kettle 
formerly belonging to the De Peysters — Catharine De Peyster having 
married Philip Van Cortlandt, son of Stephanus in 1709; it was made 
in France and probably taken to Holland from that country by the De- 
peysters ; a sugar sifter of beaten silver work brought from Holland ; 
large silver bowl used for " suppaan," to which may be added two mag- 
nificent pitchers, inscribed as follows : — 





Directors of the Westchester Qounty Bank, 
June, 1836. 


I 9 I 

In the dining-room is the large table brought from Holland and taken 
during the Revolution to Livingston Manor by Joanna Livingston, the 
wife of Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt. The mantel con- 
tains a very handsome clock, manufactured in Paris to commemorate 
Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign ornamented with sphinxes, emperial 
eagle, &c, composed of French ormolu and white marble. The buffet 
which surmounts the mantle contains some curious china and glass, 
among which may be enumerated a porcelain figure of a monster, with 
the body and legs of an elephant and a grim head, half brute and half 
human, and some Japanse figures upon its back all indicative of the con- 
nection of the first emigrant to America with the Dutch West India 
Company. This very curious ornament for many years stood on the 
parlor mantel piece at Castle Philipse near Tarrytown, then occupied by 
the Beekman family — but in 1847 Cornelia Van Cortlandt, wife of Dr. 
Gerard G. Beekman, and sister of General Pierre Van Cortlandt, re- 
stored this heir-loom to the manor house ; some curious china brought 
by Captain Dean from China for Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt and late 
James Caldwell of Albany, cornucopia for flowers, brought from Hol- 
land; curious glass goblets, opaque thread in stems, pair of buckles 
made of conch shells, &c, &c. In china closet, in parlor — old china 
brought from the east in the early part of seventeenth century by the Van 
Cortlandts, including a china stand for ashes of pipe with brass foot ; 
very small and ancient tea-pots, china shaving-basin, the property of late 
William Caldwell of Albany in use 153 years. Piece of china which 
belonged to Lord Fairfax over 200 years old ; glass tumbler with colored 
figures brought by theRomeyn's from Holland in 1654, and//&?;z thought 
to be very old; box made of wood of the " Endeavour," the ship in 
which Capt Cook sailed round the world ; she was brought to Newport, 
R. I., condemned as unseaworthy; the keel was sold to a cabinetmaker, 
and used for canes, boxes, &c. Medallion of Franklin, made of the red 
clay of Passy. Beaumarchais caused them to be struck from a profile 
sketched by Mile. Anna Vallayu, fur cap on head, very rare ; buttons 
from Yager coat worn by Paulding when he captured Andre, and given 
by him to General Pierre Van Cortlandt ; agate and silver casket, very 
old, &c. 

The Library contains a valuable collection of books, autographs, &c. 
Among the former may be enumerated a Dutch translation of the "Com- 
mon Prayer Book," entitled, "Het Boek Dar Gemeene Gebederen," 
Bedieninge du sacramenten Nevens Andrew Koskelyke Gewomteny 
lytyheden gebruykelyk in de Kerke von Engeland, &c, printed in "Lon- 
don by Jan. Hendrick Schuller, mdcciv (1704), Dedicated to Queene 



Anne. On one of the fly leaves is recorded the following, in the hand- 
writing of Gen Pierre Van Cortlandt: — " Pierre Van Cortlandt's ejus 
Liber, March 1st, 1739-40."* The Negro Plot, by the Recorder of New 
York, entitled, "A Journal of the detection of the Conspiracy, New 
York, printed by James Parker, 1744. A copy of this work brought 
$240 at Manzie's sale. This copy was once the property of the 
Hon. William P. Smith; sold by him to William Livingston with MSS. 
Notes, by Smith, "New England Judged," 1703; "Funeral Oration" 
on Washington by Major Michael Gabriel Houdin, with a portrait 
of the author, 1800. Among the autographs is the poetical effusion of 
the wife of his excellency President James Madison, addressed to 
Mr. Pierre Van Cortlandt, Junr: — 

" Happy the man, and he alone, 
Who, master of himself can say, 
To-day at least hath been my own, 
For I have clearly lived to-day." — D. P. Madison. 

Next occurs a letter from Gen. Lafayette to Charles King, Esq. 

La Grange, September 28, 1832. 

This letter my dear sir, will be delivered by Mr. Fiorelli, a young Ital- 
ian sculptor, a refugee patriot, nephew to the gentleman whom I intro- 
duced to you in 1824. I recommend him to your good advice, and beg 
you to accept the best wishes and regards of your obliged and affection- 
ate friend, Lafayette. 

There is also an original letter from Gen. Washington, dated Mount 
Vernon, April 3d, 1797, to Mrs. Clinton, and likewise, one from Mrs. 
Washington to the same. The following memorandum occurs in an old 
almanac of 1783, in the hand-writing of Lieut. Governor Pierre Van 
Cortlandt : — 

"N. B. I went from Peekskill, Tuesday, the 18th of November, 
in company with his excellency Gov. Clinton, Col. Benson and Col. 
Campbell ; lodged that night with Gen Cortlandt at Croton River, pro- 
ceeded and lodged Wednesday night at Edw. Covenhaven's where we 
mett his excellency Gen. Washington and his Aids. 1 he next night we 
lodged with Mr. Frederick Van Cortlandt at The Yonkers, after having 
dined with Gen. Lewis Morris. Fryday morning we rode in company 
with the Commander-in-Chief as far as the Widow Day's, at Harlem, 

a Copy of a letter from Hon. Joan Romeyn Brodhead to Mrs. Pierre Van Cortlandt, .Tune 
13th, 1805 :— " You will .see in Sientans memories of Nelson, (the author of " Fasts and Festi- 
vals") page 136, a refei-e:ice to a Dutch translation of Common Prayer Book"— (He refers 
also to an autograph note from Mr. Julian Verplanck's regarding the edition «f 1711, as a 
great curiosity just added 10 the State library.) "Let me congratulate yon on possessing an 
unique copy (as far as I Know) of this precious gem. I hold myself happy that the old (iover- 
nor's book was used by me at Briar Cliff on Trinity Sunday of 1365, more than a century after 
Pierre's ancestor wrote his autograph on its leaves." 


where we held a council. Saturday I rode down to Mr. Stuyvesant's (his 
brother-in-law), stayed there until Tuesday. Then rode triumphant into 
the city with the commander." 

In this same apartment is a small mahogany writing table at which 
his excellency DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York, was writing when 
he expired so suddenly on Monday, i ith of February, 1828. This valua- 
ble relic was the property of Hendrick Romeyn Beck, who left it to his 
daughter, Mrs. C. E. Van Cortlandt. A small silver plate inserted un- 
der the table bears the following inscription: — "At this table DeWitt 
Clinton was sitting when he died." There is also preserved a desk 
seal of DeWitt Clinton, given by his sons to Theodrick R. Beck. There 
is a fine bust of the Hon. Pierre. Van Cortlandt, executed from the 
original portrait by Jarvis; and a portrait of Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt, 
executed in crayons by Valdenuit in 1797. Also the silver mounted 
pistols of the Lieut. Governor. The suit of apartments on the principal 
floor are painted to imitate oak wainscoting. 

"There, too, is still preserved the 'haunted room,' in which from time 
immemorial, lodgers have heard, in the night, rustling like that pro- 
duced by the passage through the apartment of a lady in a silk gown. 
Only occasionally may the rustling be heard. I have listened in that 
room for the 'ghost' in vain. The shadowy dame or spinster never 
stoops to gratify idle curiosity. But the rustling has been frequently 
heard, and the natural causes which produce the sounds have not been 
discovered. The 'ghost' is harmless, and has never disturbed the re- 
pose of one of the most channing homes on the borders of the Hud- 

During the Revolutionary War the ancient " Ferry House was occu- 
pied by a continental guard to protect the ferry and all passes to and 
from the "neutral ground" which lay south of the Croton. Occasionally 
it was favored with the presence of Washington and other distinguished 
military officers. 

The following orders from Baron de Kalb bear date : 

" Camp, near Croton Bridge, 19th July, 1778. 
" Colonel Malcolm's regiment is ordered to march at 2 o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing to the fort at "West Point, on Hudson's River, with the regiment commanded 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Parker, which is to join on the road near Croton Bridge. 
The commander of the two regiments (Col. Burr) will make all convenient dis- 
patch, marching ten miles a day, as water and ground will admit. 
The Baron De Kalb. " & 

a Much of the foregoing description of the Manor-house is derived from an article in the 
Republican of Sing-Sing, Thursday, July 31st, 1872. Also, Appleton's Journal, June 21st. 
1873, No. 222, vol. ix ; Wayside Relics. 

b Burr's Memoirs. voL i., 131. 


During the winter of 1782, Capt. Daniel Williams, of the New York 
levies, (stationed on the lines), having just returned from an excursion 
to Morrisania, was surprised by a party of the enemy's horse, in a barn 
near the Ferry House. George McClain, who behaved with the utmost 
gallantry on this occasion, was killed ; the rest of the party effected their 
escape on the ice. a 

The Van Cortlandt Cemetery is situated on the summit of a hill west 
of the mansion. Here is a marble tomb erected to the 

Memory of the Honorable 


late Lieutenant-Governor of the 
State of New York, 

And President of the Convention that 

framed the Constitution thereof during 
the Revolutionary War with Great Britain. 

He departed this life on the first day of 
May, in the year of our Lord 1814, in the 
ninety-fourth year of his age. 

He was a patriot of the first order, zealous to 

the last for the liberties of his country ; 

A man of exemplary virtues ; kind as a neighbor, 

fond and indulgent as a parent ; an honest man — 

ever the friend of the poor ; 

respected and beloved. 

The simplicity of his private life was that 
of an ancient Patriarch. 

He died a bright witness of that perfect 

love which casts out the fear of death, 

putting his trust in the living God, and 

with full assurance of salvation in the 

redeeming love of Jesus Christ, retaining 

his recollection to the last, and calling upon 

his Saviour to take him to Himself. 

Near the Lieutenant-Governor are interred the remains of his illustri- 
ous son, Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt, who died November 21st, 183 1, 
aged 82 ; and Johanna Van Cortlandt, wife of the Hon. Pierre Van 
Cortlandt, daughter of Gilbert and Cornelia Livingston, born at King- 
ston, in the county of Ulster, the 28th day of August, 1722, died at her 

a David Merrit of Cortlandtown, Oct. 12th, 1845, says : " When the Refugees surprised 
Williams's post, at Orsers, a part of them went north and cut off ye retreat, driving Col. John 
Post, the guide and others upon ye ice, when Odell fought with two and escaped."— Conver- 
sation between Merit I and .las. McDonald. McDonald MSS., in possession of George 11. Moore 
librarian of New York Hist. Soc. 


residence at Croton, on the 16th of September, 1808, aged 87 years, &c. 
Also a tomb bearing the following inscription : — 


To the memory 




September 19, 1746, 

In the City of New York ; 


June 22d, A. D. 1822. 

at his seat 

In the town of Mount Pleasant, 

County of West Chester, 


73 years, 9 months, and 3 days. 

Beside the above tombs, there is a small pedestal surmounted with a 
chaste urn, inscribed as follows : — 

To the memory of 


wife of 

Col. Pikrek Van Corllandt, Junr., 

and eldest daughter of 

George Clinton, Esqr., 

Vice-President of the United States. 

"The memory of the just is blessed ; "— Prov. x : 7. 

May death's best slumbers occupy thy urn— 
The heap that hides thee nature's livery wear ; 
O be thou sacred in the silent bourne, 
Till time rolls round the great Sabbatic year. 

born at New London 

the 5th of November, 1770, 

she deceased at her 

residence, Peekskill, 

on the 10th January, 1811, 

aged 40 years, 2 months and 5 days, &c, &c. 

Likewise a marble obelisk to the memory of Anne Van Cortlandt, 
wife of Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt : 

"She is not dead, but sleepeth." 

Also monuments to Stephen, Gilbert and Gertrude Van Cortlandt. 
To the west of the cemetery, at the entrance of the neck proper, stood 
the Indian Castle or Fort of Kitchawan, one of the most ancient fortres- 


ses south of the Highlands. The narrow pass which it occupied was 
well protected on the north by Indian Swamp, and on the south by the 
salt meadows. It is said to have been erected at a very early date by 
the sachem Croton, as a. convenient rendezvous for the assembling of 
his war and hunting parties, and also for the object of commanding the 
rich treasuries of the Hudson and the wide estuary of the Croton. We 
have previously shown that Matsewakes was chief sachem of Kitchawan 
as early as 1641. 

At a short distance east of the fort, on the south edge of Haunted 
Hollow, is situated the Indian burying ground of Kitchawan. Nothing 
can be more romantic and beautiful than its locality, " a clear proof of 
the good taste of those who selected and consecrated it for that object." 
There was formerly a current belief in the neighborhood that the forms 
of the ancient warriors still haunted the surrounding glens and woods. 
The apparitions have been named, in consequence, " The Walking 
Sachems of Teller's Point." The road from the Manor House to Croton 
Landing passes along the edge of Haunted Hollow. 

In connection with the above, another tradition deserves to be record- 
ed, which asserts that several of the river tribes had a severe and san- 
guinary conflict with the Indians inhabiting the Point, which resulted in 
the defeat of the former; and, further, that the large mound or barrow 
near the entrance of the Point was erected over the dead who fell upon 
that memorable occasion. Be this as it may, indubitable evidence exists 
that a struggle must have taken place here at some time, from the fact, 
that vast quantities of warlike weapons have been found in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the fort. 

A rural lane, bordered with luxuriant forest trees, leads from the main, 
called Enoch's Neck, to the Point proper, originally called by the Indi- 
ans Senasqua, and by the English, Sarah's or Sarak's Point, the name 
derived from Sarah Teller, wife of William Teller, former proprietor. 
This lane passes immediately below the site of the Indian castle. 

The Italian villa of the late R. T. Underhill, M.D., stands upon an 
elevated position near the extremity of the latter, commanding a very 
extensive view of the Hudson River (nearly twenty-seven miles in length) 
and adjacent country, in which Vredideka Hook forms a noble feature 
in the south-west. The basement of the building is constructed of Ashlar 
marble, cut in Sing-Sing; the upper portion consists of stucco brick.' 
The whole edifice is in admirable keeping with the adjoining vineyards 
and surrounding scenery. 

The late R. T., and Stephen A. Underhill who is the present proprie- 
tor of the Point proper, a grand-son of Robert Underhill, Esq., fifth in de- 


scent from the famous Capt. John Underbill, High Constable of the 
North Riding of Yorkshire, upon Long Island. 

The woods of Teller's Point afford a safe retreat for thousands of 
crows, (corvus corone Linn.) which here, unmolested and unwatched by 
the cruel farmer and gunner, have from time immemorial enjoyed an 
extensive "roost." 

The canting, living crow 

Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died, 

Among the branches, till at last they stood 

As here they stood, mossy, tall and dark, 

Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold 

Communion with his maker. — Bryant. 

Daily towards sunset, may be seen approaching this sylvan abode, 

' ' The blackening train of crows to their repose. " 

— Burns. 

When the Croton dam gave way in the fall of 1840, the wild, hurry- 
ing torrent — as it approached nearer and nearer — is said to have sent a 
savage roar through these woods, causing the very watch-dogs to howl 
with fear. 

A large fish pond lying east of Dr. Underhill's residence, is conjectured 
to have originally formed the bed of the Croton river, from the fact that 
trunks of trees have been discovered four or five feet beneath its muddy 

The southern declivities of the Point towards the Croton Bay are 
covered with extensive vineyards of Catawba and Isabella. The table 
land also embraces luxuriant orchards and vineyards. The whole of the 
latter cover nearly an area of forty acres. 

Two thousand one hundred and fifty-four shad, and seven thousand 
herring, having been taken at single lifts in the adjoining waters. Dur- 
ing the winter season, vast flocks of coot and black duck frequent the 
shores of the Croton and Haverstraw Bays. 

There are numerous Revolutionary incidents connected with Croton 
or Teller's Point deserving of notice. It was off the western extremity 
that the Vulture, sloop of war, came to anchor on the morning of the 
21st of September, 1780, having brought up Andre for the purpose of 
holding an interview with Arnold ; a and here she expected to have await- 
ed his return — but soon after the spy had embarked for the opposite 
shore, a barge filled with armed men from the Vulture, was seen ap- 
proaching Teller's Point; whereupon, George Sherwood and John Pat- 

a See Greenburgh. 


terson, who were in the vicinity, seized their arms and hastened to the 
shore, resolved in their own minds that the enemy should not land with- 
out opposition. For this purpose they concealed themselves behind the 
large rocks which still lie on the beach; and as the barge came sweeping 
along towards the shore, Patterson fired. His aim had been well 
directed, for an oar was seen to fall from the hands of one of the men 
on board, and much confusion was observed among them. A second 
shot from Sherwood compelled them to return, which they did under 
a cover of canister and grape-shot from the Vulture, directed to that 
part of the beach where Petterson and Sherwood were concealed. The 
cannonade from the Vulture drew the attention of the people of Cort- 
landt-town to the scene of action. The Vulture lying in a position to 
be distinctly seen from Verplanck's Point, and the distance of country 
between it and the point on the Westchester shore, and likewise from 
Stony Point ; the town of Haverstraw, and the point where Andre and 
Arnold held their conference in Rockland County ; the grounds upon 
both sides of the river for many miles in extent sloping gradually 
towards the river — gave the inhabitants a full view of the scene 
of action. 

The inhabitants on the Westchester side had been upon the lookout, 
for they apprehended an attack under cover of the night. There were 
more, however, who entertained the opinion that it would be brought 
on before sunset, until Petterson and Sherwood commenced their 

Many of them now hastened to the scene of action with a field-piece, 
which they had obtained of Col. Livingston, who was in command at 
Verplanck's Point ; and after erecting their little battery on the Point, 
they opened a well-directed fire against the Vulture. They soon com- 
pelled her to slip her cable and hoist sail. This circumstance pre- 
vented Andre from returning to New York by water. 

" No sooner (says Sparks) had Andre and Arnold arrived at Smith's 
house, than a cannonade was heard down the river. It was discovered 
to be against the Vulture, which, though distant several miles, was in 
full view, and for a time seemed to be on fire. It had been reported to 
Colonel Livingston by messengers from Teller's Point, that the vessel 
was so near the shore as to be within reach of cannon-shot, and that 
the inhabitants were likewise apprehensive boats would land and com- 
mit depredations. Col. Livingston accordingly sent from Verplanck's 
Point a party with cannon, who fired upon the Vulture and compelled 
her to remove from the position she had held during the night, and drop 
farther down the river till she was beyond reach of the shot. Andre 


"beheld the scene from the windows of Smith's house with anxious emo- 
tion ; at length the firing ceased, and he resumed his wonted spirits and 

Upon another occasion, " while Enoch Crosby the Westchester spy 
was on duty in the vicinity of Teller's Point, a British sloop of war 
came up the river, and anchored in the stream opposite the 

With an unconquerable predeliction for strategem, our hero immedi- 
ately concerted a plot, for the sole purpose, he says, of affording " a little 
sport for his soldiers." He accordingly proceeded down to the Point, 
accompanied by six men, five of whom, besides himself, concealed them- 
selves in the woods, which grew a short distance from the shore, while 
the other paraded the beach so as to display La Fayette's uniform in so 
conspicuous a manner, as to attract the notice of the officers on board 
the vessel 

The enemy swallowed the bait; and a boat soon put off from the 
sloop of war, manned with eleven ,men, under the command of a lieu- 
tenant, to make a prisoner of this one yankee, who precipitately fled 
into the woods as the barge approached the shore. The Englishmen 
followed, threatening to shoot the fugitive unless he stopped and sur- 

As soon as the pursuers had passed his own little party, which were 
scattered in various directions, Crosby exclaimed, " Come on, my boys ! 
now we have them ! " 

At this signal, every man sprang up in his place with a shout that 
made the welkin ring ; making at the same time such a rustling in the 
bushes, that the British, thinking themselves surrounded by a superior 
force, surrendered without resistance. 

On the next day tney were marched to Fishkill, and confined in the 
old Dutch church." 6 

On 16th of October, 1799, (remarks Gen. Heath,) fourteen seamen 
were taken prisoners by Capt. Hallet's company of New York militia, 
two days before on the North River, near Teller's Point. c 

The surface of this town is hilly, and on the north-west mountainous. 
The soil consists principally of sand and gravelly loam ; it is abundantly 
supplied with rivulets and springs of water. 

The general growth of wood, is oak of all kinds, chestnut, hickory^ 
elm, black and white ash, birch and pine. 

a Sparks' Life of Arnold, 206. 

5 Barnum's Spy Uumaskecl, pp. 149, 150. 

c Heath's Mem. 22. 



The first independent election for officers of the town of Cortlandt, 
took place April ist, 1788, when the following individuals were chosen 
officers for the year ensuing: — 

Philip Van Cortlandt, Supervisor. 

Joseph Travis, Town Clerk. 

Daniel Birdsell ) 

Nathaniel Brown, >■ Poor Masters. 

Pierre Van Cortlandt,) 

David Ferris, Constable. 

John Paulding, Collector. 

John Jones, "1 

Nathaniel Brown, 
John Paulding, } 

Bariah Richardson, 
Abraham Merritt, J 

Hercules Lent, "1 

Jonathan Ferris, 
Pierre Van Cortlandt,) 

Abraham Lent, 
Henry Lent, son of 

Jarvis Dusenberry, 
Caleb Barton, 
John Haight, J 

John Jones, 1 

Henry Griffon, 
Abraham Merritt, 
John Paulding, 

Gerritt Storms, 
Philip Van Cortlandt, 
Elisha Hammon, 
Joshua Bishop, 
Thomas Conkling, 
John Garrison, 
Joseph Mandeville, 
Richard Curry, Jr., 
John Ferris, 
John Lee, 
Daniel Hall, 
Ludlow Haight, 
Sam'l Field, 
-Benj. McCord, 

Fence Viewers. 

Commissioners of Highways 


Pound Masters. 

Highway Masters. 




This township is situated ten miles south of White Plains, twenty 
Tniles north of New York, one hundred and forty from the city of Albany, 
and four east of the Hudson; bounded, north by Scarsdale, east by 
Pelham and New Rochelle, south by West Chester, and west by Yonkers. 
It is about seven miles long, north and south, and near two and a half 
miles wide. On the west it is washed by the Bronx river, (Aguehung) 
and on the east by Hutchinson's (Aqueanounck,) or East Chester creek, 
which enters a large bay of the same name, in the south east angle of 
this town. a 

East Chester 1 * was at first called Hutchinsons, and subsequently, "The 
Ten Farms," an appellation derived from its ancient division among ten 
proprietors. The present name was conferred as early as 1666. 

The lands of East Chester, were formerly included in the Indian grant 
of 1640, whereby the Indians conveyed to the Dutch, all the territory 
situated between the town of Greenwich and the North River. 

Upon the 14th of November, 1654, Thomas Pell obtained a second 
grant from the aboriginal proprietors, which also embraced the present 
township. Twelve years later we find the inhabitants of East Chester 
confirmed in all their rights by the Mohegan Sachems, Gramatan, 
Woariatapus, Annhooke, (alias Wampage,) and Porrige. 

The undivided lands, which were a long time in controversy between 
the two towns of East and West Chester, appear to have been held by 

a See N. T. Gazeteer. 

b This name, Chester, says Camden, "comes plainly from the Roman Castram." Camden's 


the Indians up to a late period of colonial history. The aboriginal 
names of Coranases and Conoval, frequently occur in the early deeds of 
this town. 

A castle of the Sinamon Indians formerly stood on the hill in the 
rear of Dr. Philemon Fowler's residence, in the village of East Chester. 

Indian wigwams formerly occupied the site of Daniel Morgan's resi- 
dence, bordering the Aqueauouncke (Hutchinson's) river, and the mill 
of Stephen Anderson, upon the same stream. 

Vast quantities of arrow and spear heads are found in every portion 
of this district, showing that it was once a great hunting country. The 
Indians were extravagantly fond of the chase, "their first hunting season 
always commencing as soon as the wild herbage began to grow up in 
the woods. " a 

Deer must have been incredibly numerous in the ancient forests of 
East Chester, as we invariably find the wolf infesting the same section of 

Upon the ioth day of February, 1672, in was agreed (by the inhabit- 
ants of East Chester,) "that the town wolf-pits which Mr. Pinckini and 
John Hoyt hath made, shall be, and is also illegal in the glan (glen,) where 
they are situated, and that the inhabitants do see to fill them up." 
Seven years later it was decided by vote, that the inhabitants pay ten 
shillings for every wolf that is killed within the limits of East Chester, 
for the year ensuing. These orders show conclusively that this ferocious 
animal Avas then very troublesome. 

So common and mischievous were wolves, (at this early period,) 
throughout the country, that we find the provincial assembly compelled 
to issue the following order for their distruction, entitled an act for de- 
stroying wolves within the colony, — 

" Forasmuch as divers inhabitants of this colony have suffered many 
grievous losses in their stocks, both of sheep and neat cattle, for the pre- 
vention of which, and encouragement of those who shall destroy wolves 
in the said colony, and that the breed of wolves within the colony may 
be wholly rooted out and extinguished, be it enacted, &c, that in the 
County of West Chester, twenty shillings for a grown wolf killed by 
a Christian, and ten shillings for such a wolf killed by an Indian, and 
half that sum respectively for a whelp." b 

Att a Court of Sessions held at West Chester, for the County of West 
Chester, Sept. 7, 1692, by their Majestie's authority, present the Hon. 
Caleb Heatcott, one of their Majestie's Councell for the Province of 

a Vanderdoncks N. N., N. Y. Hist. Soc. 207. 
b Acts of Col. Assembly, N. Y., p. 47. 


New Yorke, Lt. Coll. John Pell, Justice & Quorum, Joseph Theale, 
Dan. Strange, Esq.'s, Justice's of the Peace. 

Whereas, the grand Inquest Represents to this Court that care may be taken 
for the Destroying of wolves & the Court being Inipowered by Act of G-enerall 
Assembly to see the same put in Execution. 

The Court orders that every Township & Constables jurisdiction — The Con- 
stables in their respective place shall take care under the penalty of five pounds 
for the neglect, that they cale together the Inhabitants & give notice that the 
Court of Sessions ha^e ordered & it is hereby ordered for the prevention of 
Damages done by wolves in this County, that the Inhabitants of e\ery respective 
place shall make or cause to be made two wolfe pitts in such places where the 
Inhabitants shall see most convenient : and that for every wolfe cateched kild or 
destroyed by the said pitts, or otherwise the heads shall be brought to the Con- 
stables who shall cutt of the eares of from the said wolofes head and naile it up 
in some convenient Publick place : and that the said Constable shall pay or sat- 
tisfle for every such wolofes head soe brought to him it being made appeare that 
it was kild within his precints the sum of twelve shellings, and for the defraying 
of the charge of makeing of the said wolofe Pitts & killing the said wolves a rate 
shall be made upon the severall Inhabitants of the said Constableshipp for the 
defraying the said charge, and for the incurragem' of the Indians they shall have 
ten shillings a pice for every wolofe they kill within the severall Constableshipps, 
they bringing the heads first to the said Constables, and that such pitts be made 
between this and the twenty-fifth day of March next. And that annually a 
a rate be made before the first of Jan., paid before March next. The Constable 
having full power to see the same effected and done by virtue of this order, and 
to distraine upon any that refuseth or neglecteth to pay his just proportion. «■ 

The remains of a large wolf-pit are still to be seen in the Winter Hill 
burying-ground, situated upon the property of the late Mr. Robert Pur- 
dy. Tradition asserts that over one hundred years ago, the original set- 
tlers used to hunt bears and deer in the Long Reach patent, (situated on 
the north-west side of this town,) and they were accustomed to provide 
themselves with thirty days provision. 

The following grant under the hand and seal of Thomas Pell, occurs 
in 1664, to James Euestis, Philip Pinckney and others. 

Know all men by these presents, that I, Thomas Pell, have granted to James 
Euestis and Philip Finckney, for themselves and their associates, to the number 
of ten families, to settle down at Ilutchmsons, that is where the house stood at 
the meadows and uplands, to Hutchinson's River, they paying according to ye 
proportion of the charges which was disburst for the purchase, and other ne- 
cessary charges, only liberty to have the disposing of two lotts upon the same 
terms with them, because that I might provide them some tradesmen for their 
comfort, as a smith, or weaver, or what else with their approbation. Witness 
my hand, this 24th of June, 1664. & Thomas Pell. 

a Rec. of the Court of Sessions for W. C. C. 
b Alb. Eec. 


The above grantees appear to have emigrated from Fairfield Con- 
necticut, to this place; for in the year 1649, we find the following names 
recorded in the town books of Fairfield, viz. : — James Euestis, Philip 
Pinckney, John Tompkins, Moses Hoit, Samuel Drake, Andrew Ward, 
Walter Lancaster, Nathaniel Tompkins, Samuel Ward, &c. These in- 
dividuals subsequently took an active part in the affairs of East Ches- 

The following covenant was drawn up in 1665, for the future govern- 
ment of the proprietors, entitled : — 

Articles of agreement betwext us whose names are underwriten, A. D. 

Imprimus, that we by the grace of God, Pitt down on the track of land lieng 
betwext Huthesson's broock, whear the house was, untell it com unto the river, 
that runeth in at the head of the meados. 

2. That we indeavor to keepe and maintayn christian love and sivell honisty. 

3. That we faithfully conssall what may be of infirmyti in any one of us. 

4. Plainlie to dealle one with another in christian love. 

5. If any trespas be don, the trespaed and the trespaser shall chuse tow of this 
company, and they a thirde man if need be requiered, to end the mater, without 
any further trubell. 

6. That all and every one of us, or that shall be of us, do paye unto the mines- 
ter, according to his meade. 

7. That none exceed the quantity of fifteen acres, until all have that quantity. 

8. That every man hath that meadow that is most convenient for him. 

9. That every man build and inhabit on his home lot before the next winter. 

10. That no man make sale of his lot before he hath built and inhabited one 
year, and then to render it to the company, or to a man whom they approve. 

11. That any man may sell pait of his alotment to his neighbor. 

12. That no man shall engrosse to himself by buying his neighbor's lot for his 
particular interest, but with respect to sell it if an approved man come, and that 
without much advantage, to be judged by the company. 

13. That all public affairs, all bridges, highways, or mill, be carried on joint- 
ly, according to meadow and estates. 

14. That provision be endeavoured for education of children, and then en- 
couragement be given unto any that shall take pains according to our former way 
of rating. 

15. That no man shall give entertainment to a foreigner who shall carry him- 
self obnoxious to the company except amendment be after warning given. 

16. That all shall join in guarding of cattle when the company see it con- 

17. That every man make and maintain a good fence about all his arable land, 
and in due time a man chosen to view if the company's be good. 

18. That every man sow his land when most of the company sow or plant in 
their fields. 

19. That we give new encouragement to Mr. Brewster each other week, to 


give us word of exhortation, and that when we are settled we meet together 
every other weeke, one hour, to talk of the best things. 

20. That one man, either of himself, or by consent, may give entertainment. 
to strangers for money. 

21. That one day, every spring, be improved for the destroying of rattle 

22. That some, every Lord's day, stay at home, for safety of our wives andl 

23. That every man get and keep a good lock to his door as soon as he can. 

24. That a convenient place be appointed for oxen if need require. 

25. If any man's meadow or upland be worse in quality, that be considered in 

26. That every man that hath taken up lottes shall pay to all publick charges 
equal with those that got none. 

That all that hath or shall take up lots within this tract of land mentioned in 

the premises shall subscribe to these articles. 

Thomas Shute The mark of 
The mark of X 

O Nathaniel White, 

Nathaniel Tompkins, William Haidon's mark, H 

Philip Pinkney, The mark of John Gay, I G 

The mark of X Joseph Joans, John A Pinkney, 

John Hoitt, The mark of John Tompkins, O 

James Eustis, Richard Shute, 

The mark of X Daniel Godwin, The mark of John Hollind, I H 

The mark of X William Squire, Moses Hoitte, 

David Osburn, Eichard Hoadley, 

John Goding, The mark of Henry X Ffowlir,. 

Samuel Drake, John Emory, 

John Jackson, Moses Jackson, 

The mark of John Drake, I D John Clarke, 
This is a true copy according unto the originall, transcribed by me. Richard! 

Shute, this 23d day of Nov. '68. 

In 1666, the inhabitants of Eastchester obtained a further grant. from 
the native Indians, Ann-hooke and others. This sale was confirmed by 
royal patent the same year : 


"Richard Nichols, Esq., Governor General under his Royal Highness, James,. 
Duke of York and Albany, &c, &c, of all his territories in America, to all to 
whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting: whereas, there is a certain 
plantation upon ye main, lying within ye limits and bounds of Westchester, be- 
longing to ye north riding of Yorkshire, upon Long Island, situate and being in 
ye north part of ye limits of ye said towne, which said plantation is commonly 
known and called by ye name of The Ten Farms, or Eastchester, and is now in 
the tenure and occupation of several freeholders and inhabitants, who having 


heretofore made lawful purchase thereof, have likewise manured and improved 
a considerable part of ye lands thereunto belonging, and settled several f amilyes 
thereupon ; now for a confirmation unto ye said freeholders, and inhabitants in 
their enjoyment and possession of ye premises, know yee, by virtue of ye commis- 
sion, and authority, unto me given by his royal highness, I have ratified, confirmed 
and granted, and by these presents, do ratifie, confirm, and grant, unto Philip 
Pinckney, James Euestis, and William Hayden, as patentees for and on ye behalf 
of themselves, and their associates, their heirs, successors and assignees, all ye said 
plantation, with ye lands thereunto belonging, lying within ye bounds and limits 
hereafter expresset, viz. : that is to say, bounded to the east and ye north-east, 
by a certain river, commonly called Hutchinson's River, which runs in at ye 
head of ye meadow, and is ye west bounds of Mr. Ped's patent, to ye south-east 
by a certain creek, the mouth whereof openeth to ye south-east, then including 
ye meadows heretofore called Hutchinson's Meadows, and ye upland, to ye now 
knowne and common pathway coming up from Westchester, to take in also of 
ye uplands betweene Hutchinson's and Rattlesnake Brooke, from the said path 
to ye extent of half a mile north-west for them to plant, or otherwise to man- 
ure, as they shall see cause ; ye remainder to lye in common between them and 
ye inhabitants of Westchester, at ye end of which half-mile to be bounded by 
Rattlesnake Brooke, till you come to ye head thereof; from thence striking a 
north-east line to Hutchinson's River aforementioned, ye certain bounds of this 
plantation aforesaid are described, and so hereafter are to bee reputed and taken, 
any former order, conclusions, or agreement, to the contrary in any wise not- 
withstanding, together with all woodlands, meadows, pastures, marshes, quer- 
ryes, waters, creeks, lakes, brooks, fishing, hawking, hunting, fowling and all 
other profits, commoditys, emoluments and hereditaments, to the said land and 
premises within ye limitts and bounds aforementioned, described, belonging, or 
any otherwise appertaining ; and ye said patentees and their associates, their 
heirs, successors, and assignees, shall likewise have free commonage and liberty for 
range of feed of cattle, from ye head of Hutchinson's Brook aforesaid, for about 
eight English miles; to run north-west into the woods as far as Bronck's River, 
or so far as they shall not encroach or entrench upon any former patent by mee 
given or granted : To have and to hold all and singular ye said lands heredit- 
aments and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances, and every part 
and parcel thereof, to the said patentees, and their associates, their heirs, succes- 
sors and assignees, to ye proper use and behoof e of ye said patentees and their 
associates, their heirs, successors and assignees, forever ; moreover, I do hereby 
grant and confirm unto ye said patentees and their associates, their heirs, succes- 
sors and assigns, that their plantation shall continue to retain ye name of East- 
ohester, by which name and stile it shall be distinguished and knowne in all 
bargains and sales, deeds, records and waitings ; likewise, they shall have ye 
privilege of electing out of their owne numbers some discreet person, who shall 
be elected yearly to the office of a deputy constable, to keep his majesties peace, 
and to compose, if possible, all private differences by arbitration amongst them- 
selves, but that in all other matters they have relation to ye town and court of 
Westchester, they, the said patentees and their associates, their heirs, successors 
and assignees, rendering and paying such dutys and acknowledgments as now are 
or hereafter shall be constituted and established by ye laws of this government, 



under ye obedience of his royal bigbness, bis beirs and successors. Given un- 
der my band and seal at Fort James, New York, on ye Isle of Manhattans, ye 
nintb day of Marcb, in ye nineteenth year of ye reign of our Sovereign Lord, 
Charles ye Second, by ye grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and Ire- 
land, King, defender of ye faith, &c, &c, and in ye year of our Lord God, 
1666. a 


" Recorded by order of ye Governor, 
the day and year above written. 

"Matthias Nicolls, Secretary." 

Subsequently the three patentees made the following declaration of 
trust in behalf of their associates: — 

" These may certyfie that we, viz. Phillip Pinknie, James Sbute and William 
Haiden, having a certain track of land granted and conermed unto us by patten, 
being granted and conermed by Collenalle Richard Nichollas, then Goavernor in 
New Yorke, being granted to us, viz. Phillip Pinknine, James Eustis and Wil- 
liam Hoydeff, and our associates each of the above mentioned Phillip Pinknine, 
James Shute and William Haiden do, by these resigne up our perticulere interest 
that we have by paten, or otherwise granted and conermed unto our associates, 
who have owned and subscribed unto the observation of a covinante, with us 
this provisall, that they observe all conditions of our grantes ; 2ndly, that they 
with us, and we with them, perpetuate, our rate of interest of land, and main- 
taine our and their enjoyments ; 3rdly, that we, with the major part of the in- 
habitants that are associated, have the disposinge of land, but not they without 
us — we that are associate accordingly as our names are hearen inserted : — 
Phillip Pinkine, David Osburne, 

William Haiden. Samuel Drake, 

Johne Hoitte, John Embery, 

James Euestis, John Jackson, 

Richard Shute, Moses Jackson, 

Moses Hoitte." 

Upon the 9th of March, 1666, Robert Doughty purchased several par- 
cels of land belonging to William Haiden, situated within the limits of 
Eastchester Patent. In 1667 the inhabitants of this town united with 
those of Long Island in protesting against the Duke's laws. 6 The province 
of New York was re-taken by the Dutch on the 30th of July, 1673. 
Upon this occasion we find the deputies of Oostdorp, alias Westchester, 
and the adjacent hamlet of Eastchester, offering to submit themselves to 
the government of the State General and the Prince of Orange ; in re- 
turn for which they were commanded " to nominate, by their inhabi- 
tants, a double number as magistrates for the aforesaid villages." Sub- 

a Book of Pat. Alb. 166T, March 9th, Deed from Governor Nicolls to Philip Pinkney, Jamea 
Evarts and others, for a tract of land known as The Ten Farms, or Eastchester, p. 12, Land 
.Papers, vol. i, 1C43 to 1813. 

6 Thompson's History of Long Island. 

e Eastchester Kec. 


sequently the following order was issued by the Lords, Commanders, 
and Honorable Council of War of the New Netherlands, residing in Fort 
William Hendricke. 

"Whereas, by a former order it was thought fit that the two towns of West 
and Eastchester should be brought under one court of judicature, consisting of 
three schepens, or magistrates — that is to say, out of the town of Westchester 
two, and one out of the town of Eastchester ; and that the inhabitants of the said 
respective towns should make choice each of a double number — the which, by 
them, hath been accordingly executed, and returned, and made unto us, — we 
have made choice of magistrates of the said towns, to continue for the space of 
one whole year next ensuing the date hereof, viz., 

"For ve town of Westchester (Jose P h Palmer, 
*or ye town ot WestcUester, | Edward Waters, 

do do Eastchester, John Hoitte, 
And the said persons are hereby required with all possible expedition to ap- 
pear before us, and to take the oath, &c. &c. Dated at Fort William Hend- 
ricke, 27th of August, 1673. a Cornelius Euerstend, 

T. Youngs, 
Jacob Banckers. 

In 1676 Nathaniel Tompkins, of this town, was directed by Governor 
Andross "to seize all stray horses within the jurisdiction of West and 
Eastchester that are without marks, and bring them to the constable or 
justice of the peace." 6 

At this period the standard prices of grain and other marketable pro- 
duce were as follows: — 

Merchantable winter wheat, ... 5s. Od. 

Summer wheat, 4s. 6d. 

Merchantable barley, .... 4s. Ot?. 

Rye, 3s. Gd. 

Peas, 3s. Od. 

Indian corn, 2s. Qd. 

Certain difficulties having arisen with regard to the boundaries of 
Eastchester Patent, Mr. Philip Pinckney was appointed on the 30th of 
October, 1677, "to go to our governor to meet Mr. Justice Pell, Esq., 
where it is intended that our governor is to decide any difference that 
may arise betwixt us concerning the bounds of our Patent." 

In the year 1681, Capt. Philip Pinckney, Samuel Drake, senior, and 
Moses Hoit, were chosen to treat with the Indians about their lands. 
" And so if they can agree, in behalf of the rest of the inhabitants, with 

a Alb. Ilea, vol. xxiii., 273, p. vol U',73, AT. John Hoit, "is not to suffer any person or 
persons whatsoever to pass through Eastchester to or from New England; except they 
can produce a royal pass or licence from authority for the same." Ac. N. Y. Col. MSS. voL.. 
xxiii. p. 659. 

b Eastchester Rec. 

c Ibid. 



. 30^ 

Walter Lancaster, 


. 23* 

Richard Shute, . 

. 44 


Henry Fowler, 


. 40 

John Tompkyns, 

. 24 


John Wharford, 


. H 

Samuel Godin, 

. 23i 

. . 251 

John Vaille, 


. 24i 

Samuel Godin, 

. H 


Walter Webelly, 


. 13 

the said Indians, concerning the purchase and pay of the said land, &c, 
these three men above mentioned to be together in the design." 

" Also it is further agreed that the said Indian purchase shall be paid, 
answerable unto every man's proportion of land in the east division 
already laid out, &c." a 

The following land list occurs in 1682, containing the names and rates 
of the resident freeholders : — 

Samuel Drake, 
Nathaniel Tompkyns, 
Capt. Will. Haiden, 
William Pinckney, . 
Richard Hoadley, 
William Gray, . 
John Pinckney, . 
John Drake, . • . 
Moses Hoit, . 
John Clarke, 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Eastchester, held December ist r 
1683, it was resolved, that Nathaniel Tompkyns, John Drake and Rich- 
ard Shute, should go into the woods with the Indians, "and mark out 
certain lands within the patent of Eastchester, and go and know what 
the said Indians do ask for the said lands, and bring report to the rest 
of the inhabitants." 

On the 1st of March, 1686, Captain William Haiden and Moses Hoit, 
Sen., were chosen by the inhabitants of Eastchester, to go to treat with 
the Westchester townsmen in defence of our land, granted to us by 

On the 1 6th of January, 1698, occurs the following entry in the town 
records: — "There being several inhabitants of Westchester come to in- 
vade us (the inhabitants of Eastchester) in the property, of our lands, by 
way of molestation, the town did inform the above said persons, that 
they should not proceed to lay out any land, or mark any trees, or to set 
any marks, as by sufficient testimony will appear." 

In the Secretary of State's office, at Albany, there is a map of the dis- 
puted territory, entitled "A draft of the lands in controversy between the 
inhabitants of Westchester and the inhabitants of Eastchester, joyn'd 
with William Peartree, &c, surveyed and laid downe per Augustine 
Graham, surveyor, &c." & 

a Ibid. 

b " In 1705, John Auboynean & Co., petitioned Lord Cornbnry for license to purchase a parcel 
of unappropriated vacant land in the county of Westchester, (discovered by them) which 
they should be desirous to settle and improve, from the native Indian proprietors thereof, to 
be thereby instituted to his majestie's favorable patent for the same. Endorsed Aboynean's- 
petition in behalf of himself & Co. Read in Council, April 3, 1705. Papers about lands in con- 
troversy between East and West Chester, determined April, 1705. 


The vacant lands were situated on the west side of Rattlesnake Brook 
in the north-west corner of the present town, and amounted to 3,308 
acres. From their peculiar shape they obtained the name of the "Long 

In 1696, "at a meeting of the freeholders, and commonality of the 
borough town of West Chester, they did give and grant unto Col. Caleb 
Heathcote, the liberty of the stream of Hutchinson's river, or creek, ly- 
ing by the "Ten Farms," within the limits and bounds of the patent of 
the borough town of Westchester aforesaid, known by the name of East- 
chester, for to erect a mill or mills thereon. a 

Upon the 23d day of December, A. D. 1700, we find the Indians 
confirming the inhabitants of Eastchester in their possession. 


Be it known unto all to whom these presents may come, or concern; whereas 
the inhabitants of Eastchester did formerly purchase a certain tract of land of 
the natives, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred sixty and six, 
and part of the same being not as yet satisfied, the said tract of land being but- 
ted and bounded as is hereafter expressed, viz. : cast and south-east, by a certain 
river commonly called Hutchinson's river, which runs in at the head of the 
meadows, on the west bounds of Mr. Pell's patent, and southerly to Hutchin- 
son's brook, and from the head thereof, north-west to Brunckses his river, and 
so all the land betwixt Hutchinson's and Brunckses his river, and so from the 
head of Hutchinson's river, northwest west to Brunckses river, and so all the 
land betwixt Hutchinson's and Brunckses rivers, according as aforemen- 
tioned, now know te, that we, Woariatapus Annhook and Porrige, do 
owne, that we have received full satisfaction of Richard Shute, John Drake, and 
Henry Fowler, in the behalf of the rest of the inhabitants of Eastchester afore- 
said, for the said tract of land, and we the abovesaid Woariatapus, Annhook 
and Porrige, do by these presents confirm unto the said Richard Shute, John 
Drake and Henry Fowler, in the behalf of the rest of the inhabitants of East- 
chester aforesaid, their heirs and assigns forever, and we the above said Woar- 
iatapus, Annhook alid Porrige, will warrant and defend the same from all in- 
cumbrances whatsoever, of any person or persons lajiug claime, right, title or 
demand, unto any part or parcel of the abovesaid tract of land, above mentioned, 
in witness whereof, we the said Woariatapus, Annhook and Porrige have here- 
unto put to our hands and seals, this third day of Dec, in the 12th year of his 
majestic s reign, A. D. 1700. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in The mark of X 

presence of us, Robert Bloomer, Woariatabus. 

■George Copping, David Whitlock. The mark of All Ann Hooke, 

Gramataii Sachem, Porritre 

a Westchester Rec. 


The same year it was resolved by the inhaditants of this town, " that 
Edmund Ward shall have and hold sixty acres of land, in consideration 
that the said Edmund Ward do pay the Indians purely, and clear the 
said town of, and from the said pay, when need be, &c. 

The Indian purchase to be paid for as follows, viz. : — 14 guns, 12 coats, 
12 Indian kettles, 12 Indian axes, 4 adzes and 4 barrels of cider; this 
agreement entered into by me, Richard Shute, Recorder in Eastchester. 

On the 6th of April, 1705, Patthunck, Sagamore, Hopesco alias Por- 
rige, Anne Hook, and Elias, Indian proprietors, sold to George Booth, 
joiner, of the city of New York, and his associates, 

"All that our right of laud which is not yet lawfully purchased, lying and be- 
ing from the land which is now in dispute betwixt Westchester and Eastchester, 
and so running along by Broncks's river, to Hutchinson's river, and bounded on 
the north by Eastchester lyne, to have and to hold, &c." 

Upon the 22d of Sept., 1708, the following letters patent were issued 
under the great seal of the Province, to Col. William Peartree and his 


"Anne, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, &c, the 
Queen, defender of the faith, &c. ; whereas, it appears that our beloved cousin, 
Edward Viscount Cornbury, had granted to Col. William Peartree, Col. Jacobus 
Van Cortlandt, Joseph Van Home, Capt. John Drake, Thomas Pinckney, 
Joseph Drake, Edmund Ward, Henry Fowler and Roger Barton, a grant for a 
tract of land in Westchester county, beginning at Hutchinson's brook, at the end 
of the half mile mentioned in Eastchester patent, and so up the said Hutchin- 
son's brook, as the hrook runs to the head thereof, and from thence, north-west 
to Brunckses river, and so up the said Brunckses river, as the river runs, till it 
comes to bear with the head of Hutchinson's river, due south-east to a chestnut 
tree, marked, and so down the said Hutchinson's river, as the river runs, till it 
comes to the north-east and south-west line of Eastchester patent, and so down 
south-west, along the said line, to the head of Rattlesnake brook, and from 
thence, down the said brook, as the brook runs, to the aforementioned half mile 
of Eastchester patent, and from thence westerly to the above said Hutchinson's 
brook, where it began : know te, that we have ratified the said grant to the 
above mentioned persons, reserving what has been granted to Westchester, 23d of 
Sept., in the seventh year of her majesty's reign, 1708 & 

In 1724, the inhabitants of Eastchester appear to have held a quit-rent 
on the patent of Jacobus Van Cortlandt, and others, &c. c 

a This individual was the Mayor of the city of New York in 1703, and for many years senior 
warden of Trinity church, in that city. 

b Alb. Book of Pat, No. p. 380. 

e Town Rec. No. 2. 


The following items relate to the election of town officers from 1672 
to 1783. 

On the 13th of February, 1672, Samuel Drake was voted in consta- 
ble for the year ensuing. 

April 24th, 1673, the inhabitants nominated William Haiden, for the 
first man to be presented to our commander for our magistrate. 

Mr. John Hart was elected magistrate, A. D. 1673. 

This 24th day of August, 1673, the inhabitants have nominated Wil- 
liam Haiden, for the first man to present to our commander, for a mag- 
istrate, and John Hoitte for the ground man. Upon nomination also 
this same day we have forthwith agreed that our desire is, that Mr. John 
Pell may be proposed to our commander for the year as a skoutte. 

The same year Richard Shute, was chosen town recorder. 

In 1686, John Pinckney appears as supervisor; Richard Shute, clerk 
of the town court ; Joseph Drake, constable; William Haiden, Samuel 
Drake and Philip Pinckney, town commissioners; Haiden and John 
Pinckney, representatives. 

In 1 69 1, John Pinckney, supervisor. 

The following election took place in 1776-7: 

Stephen Ward, supervisor; Samuel Sneden, town clerk ; a Charles 
Guion, collector; Solomon Drake and Moses Drake, assessors; Thomas 
Farrington, Joshua Ferris, Joseph Gedney, overseers of roads; Thomas 
Pinckney and William Fowler, overseers offences; Edmund Ward and 
John Sneden, viewers of fences; Stephen Ward and William Fowler, 

The first independent election for town officers took place on the 
22d of December, 1783, under the superintendence of Stephen Ward 
and Ebenezer S. Burling, Esq., &c, (in accordance with an act of the 
Legislature passed October 23, 1779,) when the following persons were 
elected : 

Ebenezer Burling, Esq., supervisor; Charles Ward, town clerk; Wil- 
liam Crawford, jun., constable and collector • Thomas Pinckney, Jacob 
Hunt, Daniel Learing and John Wright, assessors ; Charles Guion, 
Elisha Shute and James Morgan, overseers of roads ; William Crawford 
and James Morgan, pounders ; William Crawford and Charles Guion, to 
take care of public edifices. 6 

The public lands of Eastchester are now managed by a board of trus- 
tees, according to an Act of the Legislature passed May 11, i846. c 

a Samuel Sneden was town clerk and supervisor for many years prior to the Revolution 
and was succeeded by Benjamin Mosyar subsequent to that period. 

b Town Records. — The town books consist of three volumes ; the first commencing on the 
13th of February, 1672; 2d vol. in 1093 ; 3d. vol. at a' much later period. 

c Laws of N. Y. 69 session, chap. 185-208. 


Mount Vernon the principal village in this town, has a station on the 
.New York and New Haven Rail Road, and was incoporated, Dec. 13, 
1853. It contains four churches, several private schools, and 1,161 in- 
habitants. West Mount Vernon has a station on the New York and 
Harlem Rail Road, two churches, and contains 630 inhabitants. East 
Mount Vernon contains 275 inhabitants ; Waverly and Washingtonville, 
are suburban villages inhabited principally by mechanics and men doing 
business in New York. 

The village of Eastchester is situated in the south-east angle of the 
town, at the head of the Eastchester Bay, fifteen miles from the city of 
..New York ; it contains about three hundred and fifty inhabitants, fifty 
dwelling houses, one Episcopal and one Methodist church, post office, 
three taverns, four stores, and one grist mill. There is also a convenient 
landing, a from whence sail several sloops trading with the New York 

The first settlement in this town appears to have been commenced 
jiear the Indian path, (subsequently known as the Westchester path or 
Kingsbridge road,) leading to the wading place, cir. 1664, at a spot call- 
ed Hutchinson's. " That is where the house stood at the meadows and 
uplands to Hutchinson's river " & 

In 1666 it was by royal charter enacted, "That the plantation shall 
continue and retain ye name of Eastchester, by which name and style 
:it shall be forever hereafter distinguished and known, &c " 

The early planters in order to concentrate their dwellings as much as 
possible, (so as to protect themselves and families,) laid out the original 
farms in narrow strips called home lots, which radiated from the village 
fort in all directions. 

At a meeting of the inhabitants, held Oct. 16, 1675, is was resolved, 
" That we will forthwith fit William Haiden's house by his land, soe as 
that it may, by God's helpe and blessing, answer our honorable govern- 
•or's order and our own preservation. At the same time John Jackson, 
Richard Hoadley and Samuel Drake, jun., were chosen to stake out the 
place as aforementioned for the said fortification ; also John Jackson 
and Richard Shute were chosen to the constable to be overseers for the 
carrying on the said works; and it was further agreed, that for aman's 
day's work, (provided he do an honest day's work,) he shall be allowed 
two shillings and sixpence a day, for a man ; and for their cattle, cart, or 
tackling to do the work, or four oxen, shall be allowed six shillings a day ; 
for two oxen, five shillings per day; and so begin the said work on Thurs- 

a At an early period called Sillick's landing, A. D. 1676. 
b Extracts from Pell's grant. 


day next, it being the 17th of this instant, A. D. 1675."* The above 
structure (commonly called the General Fort) was erected by the village 
farmers, on the hill north-west of Mr. Philemon Fowler's residence . b 
The ruins of this Fort were distinctly visible thirty years ago. 

Upon the 1st day of Dec. 1675, Samuel Drake, sen., was appointed 
by the inhabitants of Eastchester " to appear at the honorable Court of 
Sessions against Mr. Pell, concerning Eastchester work as not being a 
fort." c 

By the Governor's orders it appears to have been dismantled the fol- 
lowing year; for on the 4th of Sept., 1676, we find the inhabitants agree- 
ing " to employ a man to tear or to take down the stockadoes accord- 
ing to our Governor's order ; also on the same occasion, Richard Shute 
was chosen to go to Westchester to hire or make an agreement with 
John Hudson to carry the stockadoes of Eastchester down to 
Yorke." rf 

Near the fort, was located the general fold, into which all cattle were 
driven nightly for protection. The fold appears to have been construct- 
ed sometime prior to 1684. 

The first school-house was erected in 1683, for at a public meeting of 
the inhabitants, held on the 15th of October of that year, it was ordered, 
" that a school-house be erected upon a site between the property of 
Richard Shute and William Haiden, and encouragement given to Mr. 
Morgan Jones to become the school-master." 6 

This building occupied the site of the present village school-house. 
Thus the ground has been used for this purpose one hundred and sixty- 
four years. 

In 1685 it was agreed to build a town house, fourteen feet long and 
twelve feet broad, and to set it up by the highway side between the 
houses of Captain William Haiden and Richard Shute. 

Beside the home lots, the proprietors held equal shares in the planting 
lands, (situated on the west side of Rattlesnake brook,) the commons, 
or Conoval meadows, and the sheep pasture. 

At a town meeting, held 21st February, 1705, the inhabitants did 
agree by vote, " that all the land below Annhooks brook, and also a 
strait line from the old meadow to the head of Rattlesnake brook, beside 

a Town Rec. vol. 1. 

b This gentleman who for nearly half a century tilled the office of senior warden of St. Paul's 
church, Eastchester, was a descendant of Henry Fowler, one of the original patentees of this 
town. His father was William Fowler, the son of Joseph, whose family once held the Seton 
farm. The brother of Joseph was Col. Jonathan Fowler, the father of Abraham, whose son. 
the Rev. John Fowler, now owns the old Fowler mansion and estate. 

c Town Rec. 

d Town Rec. 

e Town Rec. 


all the land between Hutchinsons brook, and Rattlesnake brook, to the 
extent of the half mile shall be for a perpetual sheep pasture."" 

Upon the 30th of May, 1707, John Drake and Edmund Ward were 
chosen sheep-masters by the freeholders of Eastchester. 

The town and village of Eastchester were distinguished, in our early 
colonial annals, for the active part they took in favor of Governor Leis- 
ler ; for we find " Leisler's party strengthened on the 3d of June, 1689, 
by the addition of six captains and four hundred men in New York, and 
a company of seventy men from Eastchester, who had all subscribed on 
that day a solemn declaration to preserve the Protestant religion and the 
fort of New York for the Prince of Orange and the Governor whom the 
Prince might appoint as their protector." 6 

The pleasant village green in front of St. Paul's church was formerly 
used as a general training ground for this section of the county ; and here, 
too, the county elections were not unfrequently held. The following 
article is taken from the New York Weekly Journal of Monday, Dec. 
24, 1733, " containing the freshest advices, foreign and domestic:" — 

" Westchester, Oct. 29th, 1733. 

"On this day Lewis Morris, Esq., late chief justice of this province, was, by 
a majority of voices, elected a representative from the county of Westchester. 
* * Election of great expectation ; the court and country's interest was exert- 
ed (as is said) to the utmost. I shall give my readers a particular account of it, 
as I had it from a person that was present at it. Nicholas Cooper, Esq,, high 
sheriff of the said county, having, by papers affixed to the church of Eastchester 
and other public places, given notice of the day and place of election, without 
mentioning any time of the day when it was to be done, which made the electors 
on the side of the late judge very suspicious that some fraud was intended — to 
prevent which, about fifty of them kept watch upon and about the green East- 
chester (the place of eleetion) from 12 o'clock the night before till the morning of 
that day. The other electors, beginning to move on Sunday afternoon and even- 
ing, so as to be at New Roehelle by midnight, their way lay through Harrison's 
Purchase, the inhabitants of which provided for their entertainment as they passed 
each house in their way, having a table plentifully covered for that purpose. 
About midnight they all met at the house of William Le Count, at New Roehelle, 
whose house, not being large enough to entertain so great a number, a large fire 
was made in the street, by which they sat till daylight, at which time they began 
to move. Theywere joined on the hill at the east end of the town by about seventy 
horse of the electors of the lower part of the county, and then proceeded towards 
the place of election in the following order, viz. ; First rode two trumpeters and 
three violins ; next four of the principal freeholders, one of which carried a ban- 
ner, on one side of which was affixed, in gold capitals, 'King George,' and on 
the other, in golden capitals, ' Liberty and Law ; ' next followed the candidate, 

a Town Eec. vol. ii. 

b Smith's History of New York, English edition, p. 59. 


Lewis Morris, Esq., late chief justice of this province, then two colors, and at 
sun rising they entered upon the green of Eastcbester, the place of election, fol- 
lowed by above three hundred horse of the principal freeholders of the county 
(a greater number than had ever appeared for one man since the settlement of 
that county.) After having rode three times round the green, they went to the 
houses of Joseph Fowler and Child, who were well prepared for their recep- 
tion ; the late chief justice was met, on his alighting, by several gentlemen who 
came there to give their votes for him. About 11 o'clock appeared the candidate 
of the other side, William Forster, Esq., schoolmaster, appointed by the Society 
for Propagation of the Gospel, and lately made, by commission from his 
Excellency, (the present governor,) Clerk of the Peace and Common Pleas in 
that county, which commission, it is said, he purchased for the valuable 
consideration of one hundred pistoles, given the governor : next him came two 
ensigns, borne by two of the freeholders ; then followed the Honorable James 
De Lancy, Esq., chief justice of the province of New York, and the Honorable 
Frederick Phillipse, Esq., second judge of the said province and baron of the 
exchequer, attended by about a hundred and seventy horse of the freeholders 
and friends of the said Forster and the two judges : they entered the green on 
the east side, and, riding twice round it, their word was 'No Land Tax.' As 
they passed, the second judge very civilly saluted the late chief justice by taldng 
off his hat, which the late judge returned in the same manner, some of the late 
judge's party crying out ' No Excise ; " and one of them was heard to say 
(though not by the judge) ' No pretender ; ' upon which, Forster, the candidate, 
replied, ' I will take notice of you : ' they, after tbat, retired to the house of 

Baker, which was prepared to receive and entertain them. About an hour 

after, the high sheriff came to town finely mounted, the housings and holster 

caps being scarlet, richly laced with silver, belonging to . Upon his 

approach, the electors on both sides went into the, green where the} r were to 
elect, and after having read his majesty's writ, bid the electors proceed to the 
choice, which they did, and a great majority appeared for Mr. Morris, the late 
judge ; upon which, a poll was demanded, but by whom is not known to the 
relator, though it was said by many to be done by the sheriff himself. Morris, 
the candidate, several times asked the sheriff upon whose side the majority 
appeared, but could get no other reply but that a poll must be had, and 
accordingly, after about two hours delay in getting benches, chairs and tables, 
they began to poll. Soon after, one of those called Quakers, a man of known 
worth and estate, came to give his vote for the late judge. Upon this, Forster, 
and the two Fowlers, Moses and William, chosen by him to be inspectors, 
questioned his having an estate, and required of the sheriff to tender him the 
book to swear, in due form of law, which he refused to do ; but offered to take 
his solemn affirmation, which both by the laws of England and the laws of this 
province was indulged, to the people called Quakers, and had always been 
practised, from the first election of representatives, in this province, to this time, 
and never refused ; but the sheriff was deaf to all that could be alleged on that 
side ; and notwithstanding that he was told by the late chief justice, and James 
Alexander, Esq., one of his Majesty's council, and counsellor at law, and by 
William Smith, Esq., counsellor at law, that such a procedure was contrary to 
law, and a violent attempt of the liberties of the people, he still persisted in re- 



fusing the said Quaker to vote, and in like manner did refuse seven and thirty 
Quakers more — men of known and visible estates. This Cooper, now high sheriff 
of the said county, is said not only to be a stranger in that county, but not hav- 
ing a foot of land, or other visible estate in it, unless very lately granted, and it 
is believed he has not where withall to purchase any. The polling had not 
been long continued before Mr. Edward Stephens, a man of a very considerable 
estate in the said county, did openly, in the hearing of all the freeholders there 
assembled, charge William Forster, Esq., the candidate on the other side, with 
being a Jacobite, and in the interest of the Pretender, and that he should say to 
Mr. William Willett (a person of good estate and known integrity, who was at 
that time present and ready to make oath to the truth of what was said) that true 
it was he had taken the oaths to his Majesty, King George, and enjoyed a place 
in the government under him, which gave him bread ; yet notwithstanding that, 

should James come into England, he should think himself obliged to go there 

and fight for him. This was loudly and strongly urged to Forster's face, who denied 
it to be true ; and no more was said of it at that time. About eleven o'clock 
that night the poll was closed, and it stood thus : — 

For the late Chief Justice, - - - 231 
" Quakers, . ... 38 


For William Forster, Esq., ... 151 
For difference, .... us 


So that the late chief justice carried it by a great majority, without the Qua- 
kers. Upon closing the poll the other candidate, Forster, and the sheriff wished 
the late chief justice much joy, Forster said he hoped the late judge would not 
think the worse of him for setting up against him, to which the judge replied 
he believed he was put upon it against his inclinations, but that he was highly 
blameable, and who did or should know better for putting the sheriff, who was 
a stranger, and ignorant in such matters, upon making so violent an attempt up- 
on the liberty of the people, which would expose him to ruin if he were worth 
£10,000, if the people aggrieved should commence suit against him. The people 
made a loud huzza, which the late chief judge blamed very much, as what he 
thought not right. Forster replied, he took no notice of what the common peo- 
ple did, since Mr. Morris did not put them upon the doing of it. 

The indentures being sealed, the whole body of electors waited on their new 
representative to his lodgings with trumpets sounding, and violins playing, and 
in a little time took their leave of him. Thus ended the Westchester election to 
the general satisfaction. 

New York, November 5th. On Wednesday, 31st October, the late chief jus- 
tice, but now representative, for the county of Westchester, landed in this city 
about five o'clock in the evening, at the ferry stairs. On his landing he was sa- 
luted by a general fire of the guns from the merchant vessels lying in the road, 
and was received by great numbers of the most considerable merchants and in- 


habitants of this city, and by them, with loud acclamations of the people as he 
walked the streets, conducted to the Black Horse tavern, where a handsome en- 
tertainment was prepared for him at the charge of the gentlemen who received 
him, and in the middle of one side of the room was fixed a tablet with golden 
capitals, "King Geokge, Liberty, and Law."« 

The road which passes through the village green on the north side of 
the church, was formerly called the Kingsbridge turnpike. This road 
appears to have been first opened in 167 1, as we find in that year, "Mr. 
John Pell and Mr. John Richbell appointed to lay out the new road to 
New England, through Eastchester. " b The Kingsbridge road was the 
first stage route established between New York and Boston in 1732. 
"The coach, which would at the present time be thought an extremely 
slow one, was fourteen days in the journey, carrying news to and fro 
once a month."" 

Beneath the shade of the venerable locusts (which still adorn the 
green,) stood the village stocks, erected in 1720^ Embedded in the 
bark of one of the trees, may be seen the iron staple to which cul- 
prits were formerly attached and publicly whipped. Upon the green, 
between the locust trees and the present church yard, stood the old parish 
church, built by the Independents about 1699. 

The first settlers of Eastchester, like the people in general of that day, 
paid early attention to religion, to the support of the gospel, and the in- 
stitutions of the Church to which they belonged. The congregational 
church in this place was gathered in 1665; for, in that year it was 
ordered: "That all and every one of us, or that shall be of us, do pay 
unto the minister according to his mead," also, "that we give new 
encouragement to Mr. Brewster each other week, to give us a word of 
exhortation. " e A. D. 1670, it was further enacted: "That whereas we 
being a society of christians living together, have agreed that all of those 
of our association shall join together in meeting on Lord's days to tell 
about the worship of God; it was also resolved that whereas Moses 
Hoit being deserter, and being behind, and not seeming to be willing to 
contribute unto our minister, whereupon the inhabitants of Eastchester 
have agreed that the said Moses shall be presented unto the next Court 
of Sessions," &c. 

Upon the 29th of July, 1674, Richard Shute was chosen for to go to 
our honored governor as a representative for the village of Eastchester* 

a New York Weekly Journal, 1733, No. viii. 

b Assize Rec. Alb. 

c Bridgman's Hort. Rep. 1S46. 

d The stocks consisted of a rude wooden instrument, firmly secured in the ground, into 
which the offenders' hands and feet were locked. It was once a common, mode of puiushment, 
but since the Revolution has fallen into disuse.— Editor. 

e See Covenant. 



upon the occasion that we may have the Rev. Ezekiel Fogge to be es- 
tablished and confirmed by our honorable governor, and also the humble 
request to have the liberty or grant to build a Chapel of Ease, and not 
to be paying toward Westchester church's building." 

The following day, at a public meeting of the inhabitants of East- 
chester, it was resolved by vote, "to go jointly unto Westchester, and so 
speake with the Rev. Mr. Fogge, by reason we heard that Mr. Fogge 
did express himself to be desirous, and also willing to live and settle 
among us in Eastchester ; in consideration whereof, we are willing to 
manifest our acceptance to embrace his good company, and shall pro- 
vide for his present comfort, and likewise for his future livelihood." 

Upon the 5th of September, 1677, it was agreed, "that if it be the 
will of God to bring a minister to settle among us we pay him ^40 a 
year, for his subsistance, and also provide him a house and land for his 
use during the time he stays here as our minister. At this meeting it 
was resolved to send-Philip Pinckney and Samuel Drake, Sen., as repre- 
sentatives to Westchester to the town meeting to treat with that town 
for the providing a minister." 

The 31st day of March, 1678, was appointed by the inhabitants of East- 
chester, "to be kept as a day of fasting and prayer, that it will please Al- 
mighty God to withdraw His judgments from us. As in some measure, 
according to our honored governor's order to keep the said day in the 
best manner we can attain unto." 

Mr. Pinckney appears to have been selected to carry on the said day 
of humiliation. 

It was further agreed on the same occasion, "that we will meet to- 
gether on Sabbath days, for time to come to celebrate the worship and 
service of God, in the best manner that we can attain unto." 

It was also decided by vote, "that we will pay towards the carrying 
on the said Sabbath day's services, by a free will offering for the year en- 
suing, the following sums: — 

s. d. 

s. d. 

William Haiden, 


John Tompkins, 


Richard Shute, 


Will. Gregier. 


Nathaniel Tompkins, 


Henry Fowler, 


John Pinckney, 


Henry Creway, 


Richard Hoadly, 


Samuel Drake, 


John Drake, 


Upon the 17th of December, the inhabitants of Eastchester agreed 
to pay ^40 a year unto Mr. Morgan Jones, minister of Newtown, L. I. 
"That is to say, to be paid unto the said minister, for his encouragement 


to administer the word of God unto us, as our minister; and that we 
the said inhabitants, do engage to pay the above said sum of ^40 in 
good provincial pay, at the price according to the same of this govern- 
ment; provided, that the said Mr. Jones do come and live among us, 
and perform the office of a minister, and to pay it by vote." 

Feb. nth, 1680, we find the Rev. Morgan Jones, officiating in the 
village of Westchester.* 

During the year 1684, Eastchester appears to have been united with 
Westchester in the support of a pastor ; for, in the spring of the same 
year, it was resolved, "that the justices and vestrymen of West and 
Eastchester, and Yonkers, do accept of Mr. Warham Mather as our 
minister for one whole year." b 

At a public meeting of the inhabitants, held Sept. 5th, 1685, it was 
resolved to contribute the following salary towards the maintenance 
of a minister: — 

£ s. (1. £ s. d. 

Daniel Drake, Jr., 


William Gray, 


Kichard Shute, 

1 5 

John Clarkson, 


Moses Hoite, 


Thomas Norton, 


Richard Hoadley, 


John Shute, 


John Pinckney, 


Thomas Pinckney, 


John Drake, 


Walter Lancaster, 


John Wearford, 


Thomas Keurkin, 


Cornell Goding, 



do. Jun'r, 


Henry Fowler, 



John Coe, 


John Joan, 


Nathaniel White. 


This present testifieth, that we whose names are above written, do 
engage to pay the said several sums by us, every particular man, to pay 
as above said, unto Mr. Morgan Jones, for the carrying on the work of 
the ministry for this present year ensuing, beginning the said year, from 
the day of his coming, &c, hither, and carrying on the said work, and 
allow the said payment in good Indian corn, at 2s. for a bushel, winter 
wheat at 5s. by a bushel, &c." 

Mr. Riker in his annals of Newtown, says : — 

"The Rev. Morgan Jones had again changed his ministerial relations. 
The people of Eastchester had long desired to have him, and, perhaps, 
had enjoyed his services for a few months in the fall and winter of 1683. 
They now afford a liberal inducement, and he began to officiate there 
August 3d, 1685. The original agreement with him at Newtown, never 

a See Westchester. 
b Westchester Rec. 


having been fulfilled, either as respected his salary or the fitting up of 
his residence; he applied to the governor and council for redress. A 
summons to the town authorities to appear and answer, was sufficient ; 
they satisfied Mr. Jones, and on April 27th, 1686, he gave them receipts 
in full. 

Of his services in Newtown little is known beyond what has been re- 
lated. His administration of baptism and the marriage vow is incident- 
ally mentioned. He was a ready speaker, and of a conciliatory disposi- 
tion; but different accounts are given of his character and qualifications. 
Dr. Calomy, in speaking of him while settled in Wales, intimates that 
he wanted capacity, but was honest. But Dr. Mather in his Magnalia, 
sets him in a positively bad light ; yet I attach but little importance to 
his statements about Mr. Jones, because they are not only improbable 
and puerile, but are given at second-hand, and not on the personal knowl- 
edge of the doctor — whose credulity was equal to his learning. The 
history of Mr. Jones, so far as known, affords nothing positive against 
him; and it may be stated in his favor, that he enjoyed the acquaintance 
and confidence of Dr. Thomas Lloyd, of Pensylvania, and his brother 
Charles Lloyd, Esq., of Dolobran, Wales, who were his college mates at 

The Rev. Morgan Jones was succeeded by Mr. Samuel Goding who 
received instructions to read in the Bible and other good sermon books, 
and so to carry on the Sabbath exercises in East Chester. On the 30th of 
November, 1692, the inhabitants of East Chester agreed to pay the fol- 
lowing sums towards the support of Mr. Samuel Goding : 

Henry Fowler offers one bushel of good winter wheat. 

John Tompkins 3 

John Drake 4 

John Clark 2 

John Pinckney 5 pecks of Indian corn. 

Joseph Drake 4 

William Gray 2 

Thomas Pinckney 3 

John Shute 3 

Isaac Taylor 2 

Ben. Taylor 2 

Thomas Shute 4 6. 

Upon the 9th of May, 1693, it was resolved that a meeting-house 
should be built according to the dimensions agreed upon. " On the 
• 1 6th inst. it was agreed that the whole charge of building the said house 
shall be paid according unto the estates of every particular person's list 
taken." At the same time " Captain William Haiden, John Drake, 
John Pinckney, Richard Shute and Henry Fowler, Senior, were chosen 
overseers to superintend the building of the meeting-house." 

By an act of Provincial Assembly passed 21st September, 1693, (con- 
firmed nth of May, 1697), East Chester became one of the four pre- 
cints 6 of West Chester Parish. 

a Hiker's Annals of Newtown, L. I., p. 114. 

& Acts of Assembly from 1691 to 1725. As early as 1669 we find the following order in the 
Town Rec, " The bounds of our parish to be preambulated according to law," Boot L p. 23. 


At a town meeting held on the 15th December, 1693, " Moses Hoit, 
junior, and others were chosen to take list of estimation according to the 
town's agreement for making a rate for the payment of the carpenter's 
work for building the meeting-house." 

On the 1st of January, 1693-4, "William Haiden, John Drake and 
Richard Shute were chosen to receive forty pounds as according to the 
free will offering and to act and do and lay out the said several sums for 
the town. Also it was agreed that these men have full power to receive 
the said sums and lay them out towards building the said meeting-house 
and to render account thereof to the town." 

At a town meeting held 23d January, 1694-5, the inhabitants "agreed 
by vote to lay out half an acre of land to be set out for a parsonage-lot, 
to be reserved for the use of the town, to be reserved for that use forever, 
which above said land is lying in and being upon the green in Eastches- 

On the 31st of July, 1696, "it was determined to lighten the meeting- 
house by a lantern to every seat of the same. " The following is a plan 
of the meeting-house, with the names of pew-holders, as represented in 
the town records. 

Mr. Justice Pinckney, 

Henry Fowler, Sen. 

Richard White, 

John Pinckney, 

Thomas White, 

Moses Hoite, Sen., 

John White, 

Moses Hoite, Jun. 

Mates Fowler, John Haute, 

The south side belong 

Robert Stonith, 

to this. 

John Lancaster, 

East to this. 

Capt. John Drake, 

Isaac Taylor, 

Ensign Drake, 

Isaac Lawrence, 

John Tompkins, 

Edward Hancock, 

Nathan 1 Tompkins, 

Thomas Vail, 

Mr. Will. Chaterton, 

Jeremiah Fowler, 

a place of John Clark, 

Isaac Odell, 

South side of this. 

John Coe, 

Joseph Coe, 

West to this. 


The old church of Eastchester, like that of Westchester, would seem 
to have been a frame building twenty-eight feet square, and about eight- 
een feet to the eaves; the sides, as well as roof, being shingled, which lat- 
ter met together in an apex. The interior was wainscoted, and a gal- 
lery was constructed in it, but soon after the commencement of the Rev- 


olutionary war, it was destroyed by fire. The foundation stones upon 
which the building rested, were visible in part, as late as 1793." There 
is a tradition in the Pinckney family that one of its early members pre- 
sented the land to the church, embracing the present green, church-yard 
and adjoining property, for which they enjoy the privilege of free inter- 

At a town meeting held 2 2d July, 1697, "It was agreed by vote to 
meet at the meeting-house on the 10th day of August, next ensuing, at 
sun half an hour high in the morning, in order to the cutting brush about 
the common in Eastchester woods, and to appear at the beat of the 

On the 2d of January, 1698, the inhabitants agreed by vote, "That 
the address which is drawn up to be presented to His Excellency, con- 
cerning indockin (inducting) a minister, the said inhabitants have and 
do agree that the officers of said town shall asign (sign) the said address 
in behalf of themselves and the rest of the inhabitants, or any of our ad- 
jacent neighbors." 

The Governour, however, refused to induct a dissenting minister, on 
the ground that such a one was not qualified to accept, and that the law 
intended no other than an orthodox minister, for if otherwise, nothing 
but confusion would ensue about the disposal even amongst the Dissent- 
ers themselves. 

The inhabitants of East Chester finding the Governour bent upon the 
settlement of a national ministry, next attempted to annul the act of 
1693, by making themselves a distinct parish from Westchester. This 
appears by the following extract from the town records : 

"April nth, 1699, it was agreed upon, by a full and free vote, to 
petition unto His Excellency and Honorable Council and General 
Assembly, in behalf of ourselves and the rest of our neighbors in the 
Yonkers and Mile Square, to desire that we may be taken from West- 
chester and have liberty to call a minister of our own." 

On the 26th of December, 1699, it was resolved at a public meeting 
held in East Chester, " To haste and erect the meeting-house, and that 
it shall be finished at or before the 31st of May, in the year of our Lord, 
1700, and in case the said work be not finished, that then John Drake 
and Jeremiah Fowler shall set men at work and finish the said work on 
the town account." 6 

a Rev. William S. Coffey's Commemorative Discourse, 1865, at Centennial Anniversary of 
St. Paul's church. 

b Town Records. " By an act of Assembly passed this year, the trustees of each town were 
to make a yearly rate for building a church where wanting, &c" 2 Will. III. A. D. 1699. 
Laws of N. Y. vol. 1. Chap. 83, p. 37. 


At a meeting of the inhabitants, 20th of February, 1700, we find them 
setting aside a small quantity of land as a provision for a minister, ac- 
cording to their constant method, and which was used in all other town- 
ships within the Colony, as follows : 

" The said inhabitants have laid out one piece of land containing "18 rods in 
length, and easterly 5 rod, and at the western end it is 5 rod in breadth; the 
said land is set, lying and being in East Chester, 1 rod ofT from John Lancaster's 
meadow, and at the west end half a rod by the home meadow of the said John 
Lancaster's, which land is for the use of the town for a parsonage lot, which 
said lot was laid out by the consent of Mr. Thomas Pinckney, justice of the 
peace, and Richard Shute, as witnesseth that the said land is given to be so ner 
(near) his meadow. The mark of John X Lancaster."* 1 

Upon this occasion it was agreed " That the minister's salary be paid 
by rate for time to come." 

On the 1 6th of May, 1699 or 1700, " Ten acres of land were voted 
by the inhabitants of Eastchester to Nicollas Conklin, in consideration 
that he shall part with his house, home, lot and orchard, for the use of 
a minister, in case the said minister do accept of this above said house 
and home lot." Mr. Henery Fowler at the same time was directed to 
" Wriggt a letter to Mr, Morgan to come over and see whether he doth 
well approve of what the inhabitants have done for his maintenance."^ 

It was also "Agreed to pay Mr. Morgan jQz° current, for salary," 
which sum was ordered to be raised upon all rateable estates. 

At a public town meeting, held about this time, " Mr. Joseph Morgan 
did declare that he did not like that home lot of Nicholas Concklin's, 
and also that the said piece of land is not a whole home lot." c 

Upon the 12th of June, 1700, twenty acres of land were voted to Mr. 

" At a public town meeting, called by order of the inhabitants, Oct. 
4th, 1700, the said inhabitants directed Mr. Henry Fowler and Richard 
Shute, (with the rest of the intended church,) to write unto the Rever- 
end ministers in New England concerning the ordination, they having 
the assistance of the Rev. Mr. Morgan; also that Mr. Thomas Pinkney, 
Henery Fowler and Richard Shute, shall wright unto His Excellency for 
his approbation, that he will be pleased to induct (the word induct is 
marked out in the original MS. and the letters app written over it) our 
minister, the Rev. Joseph Morgan." At the same time, "Joseph Drake 
and Thomas Pinckney were authorized to agree with a carpenter to 
build a pulpit on the town's account." 

a Town Records, vol. i. p. 20. 
6 Town Kec, vol. i. p. 20. 
e Town Rec, vol. L p. 4. 


Having now obtained the services of a minister, and finding the 
Church pouring in upon them, the inhabitants once more determined to 
pettion the Assembly for an act to separate them from Westchester. 
Whereupon, at a town meeting, 14th of October, 1700, "Mr. Henry- 
Fowler., sen., was authorized by the inhabitants to proceed to New- 
York to petition the General Assembly for the calling and settling a 
minister with ourselves, and that we may be freed from Westchester in 
the ministry." 

12th of King William III, A. D., 1700, occurs an act of the General 
Assembly, entitled as follows : — 


Passed the 29 th of October, 1100. 

" Whereas, by an Act of the General Assembly of this Province, entitled : — 
An Act for settling a ministry and raising a maintenance for them in the City of 
New- York, County of Richmond, Westchester and Queens County, it is amongst 
other things declared and enacted, that the towns of Westchester, Eastchester, 
Lower Yonkers and the Manor of Pelham, in the county of Westchester, should 
be a parish together, for the better maintaining of a good and sufficient Protestant 
minister ; and, whereas, since the making of said act, it has been found incon- 
venient, and to the great discouragement of religion and the public worship of 
God, for the inhabitants of Eastchester to travel to Westchester aforesaid, to be 
present at the preaching of the Word of God ; wherefore, the said Inhabitants 
and Freeholders of the town of Eastchester aforesaid, have, by their humble 
Petition to the House of Representatives, now convened in General Assembly, 
most humbly prayed, that it might be declared and enacted. 

" I. And be it Declared and Enacted, by His Excellency, the Governour 
and Council and Representatives, now convened in General Assembly, and by the 
authority of the same, that the said town of Eastchester, in the County of West- 
chester be for henceforth and forever hereafter, separated from the parish of 
Westchester, Eastchester, Lower Yonkers, and the Manor of Pelham, to all in- 
tents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever ; the said act, entitled an Act for 
settling the ministry and raising a maintenance for them, in the City of New- 
York, County of Richmond, Westchester and Queens County, or any other act 
to the contrary thereof in any ways notwithstanding. 

4 ' II. And be it Further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said 
Town of Eastchester, in the County of Westchester, be, and is hereby declared 
to be and remain forever a distinct parish from the Parish of Westchester, East- 
chester, Lower Yonkers, and the Manor of Pelham, by the name and style of 
the Parish of Eastchester, in the County of Westchester ; Provided, that the 
Freeholders and Inhabitants thereof do maintain a good orthodox Protestant 
minister in the said town of Eastchester ; any law, usage or custom to the con- 
trary thereof, in any ways notwithstanding." 


The above Act was disannulled by Queen Anne in Council in 1762- 
3, as appears from the following in a letter addressed by the Lords of 
Trade to Lord Cornbury, dated Whitehall, Jan. 26th, 1702, occurs the 
following : 

"P. S. — Since the writing of this letter, upon consideration of the Act for 
declaring the town of Eastchester to be a distinct parish, &c, and of the reasons 
offered to us against it by the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London, we 
have prepared a report to be laid before Her Majesty with our humble opinion 
that the same be disallowed. " a 

Again their lordships writing to the same, dated Whitehall, April 7 th, 
1703, say: 

" We have told you in a former letter that we had prepared a report with our 
opinion for disannulling the Act declaring the Town of East Chester to be a dis- 
tinct Parish, &c. Which having accordingly been done, We likewise send you 
a Copy of Her Majesty's Order in Council for that effect. " b 

June the 12th, 1700. — "The town exchanged land with Mr. Joseph 
Morgan, pastor of the church in East Chester." 

The inhabitants of Eastchester also at the same time " did give and 
grant two acres of land, to be laid out where it shall not be within the 
Town's sheep pasture, unto Mr. Joseph Morgan, minister, &c." c 

"June 26, 1700. At a town meeting held by the inhabitants of 
Eastchester, the inhabitants have agreed that the minister's note and 
the town rate shall be paid by agreement, as the town rate was payd 
in the year i6g4." d 

u At a public town meeting called by order of the inhabitants, Oct. 
4th, 1700, the said inhabitants directed Mr. Henry Fowler and Richard 
Shute, (with the rest of the intended church,) to write unto the reverend 
ministers in New England concerning the ordination ; they having the 
assistance of the Rev. Mr. Morgan. Also, that Mr. John Pinckney, 
Henry Fowler and Richard Shute, shall write unto his Excellency for 
his approbation, that he will be pleased to induct our minister the Rev. 
Joseph Morgan ; at the same time Joseph Drake and John Shute, were 
chosen to hire a man to build a pulpit on the town account." 

March the 6th, 1701, the inhabitants " exchanged 4 rods of land with 
Joseph Morgan, pastor of the Church of Eastchester." 

January 12th, 1702, it was resolved by the justices and vestrymen of 

a N. Y. Col. M. S. S., London Doc. 15, vol. iv. p. 1026. 

b Ditto, p. 1038. 

cTown Rec vol. vil. ;>. 24. 

d Town Ilea vol. vii, p. 24. 


the Parish of Westchester that there shall be raised ,£50 for the minis- 
ter's maintenance, the proportion of Eastchester being £9, 17s. 6d. a 

Upon the 3d of April, 1702, John Drake and Thomas Pinckney were 
authorized, "To agree with a carpenter to make a pulpit, and set up the 
gallery and repair the window shutters, &c." 

At the same time, John Tompkins, jun., was also chosen " To beat 
the drum constantly, every Lord's day, if occasion require, and at other 
times when it is needful, and to keep the drum in repair ; and the said 
inhabitants do promise to pay him therefor 9 pence a piece, every one.'' 

"April 14th, 1702, the inhabitants of Eastchester have given liberty 
unto Mr. Joseph Morgan, our minister, that is to say the use of that 
part of meadow by and near unto Saml. Water's house, and that he shall 
have the use of the said meadow for the term of ten years after the date 
hereof." 6 * 

On the 1 8th of May, 1703, the inhabitants of Eastchester appointed 
Mr. Thos. Pinkney and Mr. Edmund Ward " To draw an obligation 
with Mr. Joseph Morgan, minister, for one year, for his encouragement, 
and to see who will subscribe thereunto for the payment of the town." 

Mr. Morgan, who must have resigned the pastoral charge of East- 
chester sometime during the above-mentioned year, was the son of 
Lieut. Joseph Morgan, (of what is now Preston County by his wife 
Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Parke, of Weathersfield), the third son of 
James Morgan, a native of Wales, who was born in 1607, and who em- 
migrated to Roxbury, Mass., in 1638.. The Rev. Joseph was born at 
Preston 6th of November, 167 1. "His name stands on the catalogue 
of Yale College as one of the graduates in the class of 1702, but he was 
probably not a regular graduate ; and the degree of A. B. was doubtless 
conferred upon him as an honarary one — for according to the " History 
of Greenwich," Conn., he was settled over the First Church, Greenwich, 
in 1697, and in 1700, dismissed and settled over Second Church, Green- 
wich. He was also a regular preacher in Bedford, Westchester County, 
N. Y., in 1699, and was ordained by the Fairfield County Association 
in 1700,"" and soon after called to Eastchester. "From 1704 to 1708, 
he was again the minister at Greenwich, Conn. In 1709, he was settled 
as pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Freehold, New Jersey, and in 
1728 was charged before the Synod with "practising astrology, counte- 
nancing promiscuous dancing, and transgressing in drink." These 
charges were not sustained. He resigned, however, and took charge of 
the two churches at Hopewell and Maidenhead, N. J.; and in 1736, was 

a Town Eec. vol. vu, p. 57. 

b Vestry Books of Westchester Parish. 

c Morgan Family, by N. H. Morgan, Hartford, 1869. 


again charged with intemperance, and suspended from the ministry — but 
was restored again in 1738, "on the intercession of many good peo- 
ple." Romeyn, in his history of the First Reformed Dutch Church at 
Hackensack, says that "In 1709 the Dutch Church in Monmouth 
County obtained the services of the Rev. Joseph Morgan, who was there 
for twenty-two years." 6 Mr. Morgan was a preacher of considerable 
note, and several of his discourses and sermons were published ; among 
them, one on the death of his eldest son, Joseph, a graduate of Yale 
College, 1723, and died the same year; a "Reply to a Railer against 
the Doctrine of Election," 1724; " Sin its own Punishment," 1728; and 
"Love to our Neighbors," third edition, 1749." In his letters dated at 
Freehold in 172 1 and 1722, he speaks of his two sons, one aged 17 and 
the other n, as "good scholars," and "one other son a little older;" 
this is evidently the Joseph whose death is above alluded to.<* 

" At a town meeting held by ye freeholders of East Chester ye 26th of 
January, 17", it was voted that Moses Fowler should have and enjoy all ye 
land between ye land of Wm. Fowler that he bought of Joseph Morgan." 

On the 19th of February, 1717, James Morgan was appointed col- 
lector of Eastchester. 

On the 15th of February, 1725, the names of James Morgan and 
Thomas Morgan appear as freeholders of the town. 

To Mr. Morgan, as pastor of the Congregational or Presbyterian 
church at Eastchester, appears to have succeeded the celebrated Wil- 
liam Tennent. 

List of ministers or pastors of the Congregational or Presbyterian church of 


Install or Call. Pastors. Vacated. 

1665 6, Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, B. D., Resigned. 

1675, Rev. Ezekiel Fogge, " 

1684, Rev. Warham Mather,'- " 

3d Aug., 1685, Rev. Morgan Jones, A. M., " 

30 Nov., 1692, Rev. Samuel Goding, " 

1694, Rev. Marmaduke Matthews, " 

1700, Rev. Joseph Morgan, A.B. " 

1719. Rev. William Tennent, " 

a History of Morgan Family, by N. H. Morgan. 

b First Dis. at Dedication or First Dutch Church at Hackensack, N. J., by Rev. Theodore 
Romeyn, May 2, 1869. 

c History of Morgan Family, by N. H. Morgan. 

d Morgan Family, by N. II. Morgan. In the Town Record of Eastchester occur the follow- 
ing entries : "East Chester, the 27th day of January, 1703, Joseph Morgan, the son of Joseph 
Morgan and Sarah his wife, was born the 12th day of March, 1701." This evidently records 
the birth of Joseph the eldest son, graduate of Yale College, who died 23th November, 1723. 
" Anne Morgan, the daughter of Joseph Morgan and Sarah his wife, was born the 4th day of 
July, 1702; Cornelia Morgan, the daughter of Joseph Morgan, was born the 31st day of Octo- 
ber (1703). Entered by me, Edmund Ward, Recorder." " Andrew Morgan, the son of Joseph 
Morgan and Sarah his wife, was born the 29th day of January, 1704-5." Town Kec. Lib. ii, p. 43. 

e See a letter from Warham Mather, m the Mather's Papers, published in Coll. MSS. liist: 
Soc. (N. Y. Hist. Soc). 


Upon the 19th of November, 1702, the Rev. John Bartow was inducted 
by Governour Cornbury, into the parish church of Westchester, East- 
chester, Yonkers and the Manor of Pelham, notwithstanding all the 
means used to prevent and disturb his settlement by the Independents; 
and as no "good Orthodox Protestant minister" had been maintained 
in this parish, in accordance with the late act, Mr. Bartow was consid- 
ered legally inducted, and settled over all the rights and appurten- 
ances of Westchester parish, of which the church at Eastchester formed 
a part. This fact the Independents or Presbyterians themselves ac- 
knowledged by paying their quota of £$0 per annum, towards Mr. Bar- 
tow's support, according to the first settlement in 1693. 

In the summary account of the state of the Church in the province of 
New York, as it was laid. before the clergy, convened October 5th, 1704, 
at New York, by the appointment of his Excellency Edward Lord Vis- 
count Cornbury and Colonel Francis Nicholson, it was stated, that 
"There is one independent congregation at Eastchester, whose minister 
designs to leave there, whose congregation upon his departure are re- 
solved to join with the Church." a 

Col. Caleb Heathcoate, in a letter to the secretary of the venerable 
Society for Propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, dated Manor of 
Scarsdale, November 9th, 1705, thus writes; "and thirdly, one Mr. Mor- 
gan, who was minister of Eastchester, promised me to conform." 6 

The following extract from a letter of the Rev. John Bartow, rector 
of the parish of Westchester, to the secretary of the Venerable Propa- 
gating Society, in 1707, shows most conclusively that the inhabitants of 
Eastchester finally embraced the Church of England, and accepted him 
as their minister. 

"My Lord Cornbury requested me to go and preach in Eastchester; 
accordingly I went, (though some there had given out threatening words 
should I dare to come,) but tho' I was there very early, and the people 
had notice of my coming, their Presbyterian minister, Mr. Morgan, had 
begun service in the meeting-house, to which I went straightway and 
continued the whole time without interruption, and in the afternoon I 
was permitted to perform the Church of England service; Mr. Morgan 
being present, and neither he nor the people seemed dissatisfied, and 
after some time of preaching there afterwards, they desired me to come 
often er; and I concluded to minister there once a month, which now I 
have done for about three years." 

In regard to this conformity of the people of Eastchester to the 
Church of England, Dr. Howkins says: — "That the population of East- 

a Town Kec. vol. ii, 16, 
6 Town Eec. vol. i, 29. 


Chester was 400, who being Presbyterians, obtained an act, by which 
they were formed into a separate parish, and obtained a minister of 
their own persuasion; but on Mr. Bartow's coming among them, they 
were so well satisfied with the liturgy and doctrine of the Church, that 
they forsook their minister and conformed to the Church of England." 

In an address to the venerable and honorable Society for Propagating 
the Gospel, the following account is given of the building of the church 
at Eastchester : — 

" May it please the venerable and honorable Society for Propagating 
the Gospel — we, whose names are subscribed, do hereby certify that the 
Church of Eastchester was built in the year of our Lord, 1692, by sub- 
scription of the inhabitants of said town ; and that Mr. Matthews, a 
Presbyterian minister, for about three years, and after him Mr. Morgan, 
a Presbyterian minister, did preach till such time as Mr. Bartow began 
to preach unto us in the year 1703, since which time it has been in his 
possession, and he comes and preaches at Eastchester once in four 
weeks during the winter, and once in eight weeks during the space of 
six months in the summer. 

" And we further certify that the town of Eastchester was made a dis- 
tinct parish from Westchester in the year 1700." 

About this time the inhabitants addressed the following petition to 
Governor Cornbury, asking for an abatement in their annual quota and 
thanking him for directing Mr. Bartow to preach among them : — 


"The Humble Petition of John Drake, Joseph Drake and William Chadderton 
in the behalf of themselves and the inhabitants of Eastchester, 

Sheiceth : 

That Col. Heathcote, did, at the request of your Excellency's Petitioners, move 
your Excellency to give directions that what the Vestry had layd on the parish 
of Westchester for incidental charges over the minister's rate and constable's 
allowance for allowing the same, might be abated from the quoata layd on our 
place, we being burthened with much more than our just proportion of that tax; 
that Col. Heatcote did thereupon inform your Excellency's Petitioner's, that 
your Excellency had been pleased to direct that some of the Justices which lived 
without the precincts, should make inquiry into that matter and make report 
thereof to your Excellency, but the Justices not being able before this time to 
get in the list of estates was the cause of the delay of that return, so hope your 
Excellency will pardon our not leavying what was layd upon us, by the late 
Vestry, and will, in your great goodness and justice, protect us from paying 
more than our fair and equal proportion, which we shall always most readily do, 
so long as your Excellency shall think fitt to continue us joyned to that Parish. 
We are exceeding thankful that your Excellency hath been pleased to direct 
Mr. Bartow to preach sometimes amongst us, for we assure your Excellency that 
'tis our earnest desires to come under the Regulation of the Church of England 


as by law established, and so is our minister, Mr. Morgan, for which reason we 
are desirous to continue him amongst us, and maintain e him by subscription 
untill such times as your Excellency shall think fitt to have the parishes in the 
County otherwise divided, which are at present so very inconvenient, that not 
half of the people can have the benefit of the ministry. Your Excellency we 
find by the return of the Justices, that our divident of the late rate ought not to 
have been more than £7 5s. 6d., and the Vestry have layd £15 10s. upon us, 
and there being £7 10s. layd on the parish, besides the Minister's rate and the 
Constable's allowance for leavying the same, under the name of incidental 
charges, and that some, by the inequality of the division falling wholly upon us ; 
we therefore, most humbly implore your Excellency to direct that we may pay 
no more at this time than £8, and for the future only our equal divident, and as 
in duty bound, your Excellency's Petitioners shall Ever Pray, &c. 

John Drake, 
Joseph Drake, 
William Chatterton."** 

The foregoing petition shows conclusively, that although Eastchester 
had been declared a separate parish from Westchester, as early as 1700, 
yet the Colonial Governors still considered it as joined to that parish 
according to the prior act of 1693. 

This the inhabitants also acknowledged by the annual election of 
three Vestrymen for the precinct and paying the yearly rates laid on the 
the parish. The choice of a minister, however, and providing for his 
support, had been lodged by the act of 1693, in the Vestry ; and the 
choice of a Vestry in the people. Into the church and freehold of the 
parsonage lot (as it was then styled) of Eastchester, Mr. Bartow had 
been legally presented by the Vestry and inducted by the Governor's 
mandate, as we have already seen. 

At a meeting held by the Justices and Vestry of Westchester, the 12 th 
of December, 1705, "John Smith, of Eastchester, constable, in the year 
1704, proved the payment of £9 17s. 6d., which is the full proportion 
of said Town for that year." The Vestry agreed that, " Mr. Bartow, if 
he pleased, shall preach at Eastchester every fourth Sabbath day, which 
was condescended to by Mr. Bartow." 

In 1709-10, the Vestry next for Eastchester were Isaac Taylor, John 
Lancaster and Nathaniel Tompkins. 

Upon the 25th of February, 1711-12, " at a town meeting held by the 
freeholders of Eastchester, the said freeholders did agree by vote, that 
Judge Drake, Isaac Taylor and Moses Fowler, should be empowered to 
constitute and hire a man or men, as they shall think proper, to repair 
and finish the meeting-house and making a pulpit in the same ; and also 

a Doc. Hist, of N. Y. vol. III. 92-8. 


to have power to make a rate on all and every of the freeholders and 
inhabitants of the said town, that shall amount to as much money as 
shall defray the said charges." On the 20th of March following, this re- 
solution was repealed and the same men empowered to " Repair the meet- 
ing-house, in making a pulpit and pew in it, and also seal and make 
seats in the same so far as the boards that are already bought will go." 

The next year the Rev. John Bartow contributed ^9 6s. 6d. towards 
rectifying the pews and seats in East and Westchester churches. 

In 1 7 18, Mr. Bartow informs the Society that some efforts were be- 
ing made to introduce a Presbyterian minister at Eastchester. This 
must have been the celebrated William Tennent, who officiated here 
for a short time only, from whence he removed to Bedford. 


Westchester in the Province of New York, 
Nov. 18th, 1 7 18. 
Worthy Sir, 

"I am sorry that I have occasion to acquaint the Society that there 
are endeavours now on foot to bring in a Presbyterian minister at East- 
chester. Some of their main agents have been with me and signified 
their design, from which I laboured to dissuade them, but in vain ; for 
they told me if I would undertake to come and preach every Lord's day 
in their town, they would be contented, otherwise, they would have a 
minister of their own. This has bred a division amongst the people, 
and some are for it and some against it ; which schism, I think, would 
effectually be ended if they had a minister of the Church of England 
to reside amongst them." ft 

Mr. Bartow, writing to the Secretary in 1725, says: — "The pulpit and 
wainscoat of the church at Eastchester, are since decently painted, and 
a new gallery built, and the Presbyterian minister when he comes not 
permitted to officiate therein." 

Upon the death of Mr. Bartow, the Rev. Thomas Standard, was in- 
ducted "To the rectory of Westchester, the glebe thereof, and to all the 
rights and appurtenances of the same." 

In the year 1728, Mr. Standard officiated every other Sunday at East- 
chester and publicly catechised the children. 6 

"During Mr Standards ministry here, some trouble-making spirits 
arose, who sought to upset the action of those Presbyterians, who joined 
the Church in Mr. Bartow's time, and get possession of the old building. 

a New York MSS. from Archives at Fulham, vol. i, 555. (nawks.) 
b Printed Abstracts of Veil. Soc. 


iBut religious contracts were found to be as binding as civil bargains. 
Mr. Standard says, "The church of Eastchester was supposed to be in- 
cluded among the rights and appurtenances of Westchester parish; that 
Mr. Bartow was legally presented and inducted into the church, and 
died possessed of it; that he too was legally presented and inducted, and 
therefore laid claim to it as his own proper right exclusive of them, and 
so kept them out of it." a 

In 1744, Mr. Standard, who had now taken up his residence in East- 
chester, writes to the Secretary as follows : — 



Eastchester, May 14th, 1744. 
Rev. Sir, 

" My Brother Vaughan informs me, that Archbishop Tennison hath 
left upon his will, ^50 per annum, to be paid to the oldest missionary, 
being an Englishman, which missionary he saith I am, and that it will 
be necessary for me to go home in order to obtain it, which if I do, and 
apply to my Lord Chancellor, he doubts not of success; and he further 
adds, that Mr. Talbot received the same during his time. If you, good 
sir, know any thing of that affair, be pleased to communicate it to me 
and to intercede for leave for me to come home. 

I' am yours and the Venerable Society's 
very humble servant, 

Thomas Standard." 6 

The following year he informs the Society, that the parishes of East 
and Westchester are in a peaceable and growing state. 

As Church business was at this time transacted with town matters, we 
find the inhabitants electing a sexton for Eastchester. On April the 1st, 

1755, it was resolved, "That Richard Stevens be appointed grave-dig- 
ger for the town, for the year ensuing, and to dig a grown person's grave 
for six shillings and three shillings for children." On the 7th of April, 

1756, the town appointed the same individual for grave-digger and sex- 
ton for the town. 

In 1758, Mr Standard presented the bell to the church, which still 
summons the parishoners every Lord's day to the house of prayer, and 
by it, "He being dead, yet speaketh." 

At the commencement of this year, the aged missionary was called to 
mourn over the grave of an affectionate wife, who came to her death in 

a See "Rev. Henry E. Duncan's Jubilee Sermon for 1851. 

6 New York MSS. from Archives at Fuiliam, vol. ii, 152. (Hawk's). " In "1726, Mr. Delpecn 
was schoolmaster at Eastchester. 


a terrible manner, as appears from the following extract taken from the 
New York Post Boy, of February 6th, 1758: — 

"We have the following most shocking and melancholy account from 
Eastchester, viz.: — That on Friday morning the 27th of January, Mrs. 
Mary Standard, aged about seventy years, wife of the Rev. Dr. Thomas 
Standard, of this place, was found dead on the chimney-hearth of one of 
the apartments in the house, having her head, the chief parts of both 
her breasts, with her left arm and shoulder entirely burnt to cinders. It 
appears that the unfortunate old gentleman and his more unfortunate 
old lady, had, upon some necessary occasion the evening before, agreed 
to lay separate; and the Doctor taking his leave, went to bed, leaving 
his wife sitting before the fire, where, it is imagined, the poor old gentle- 
woman must either have been seized with a fit, or in rising from her 
chair, had fallen into the fire, and being undoubtedly rendered unable to 
move herself, she became the most moving spectacle imaginable to the 
most affectionate and tender husband, who first discovered her in the 

The Rev. Thomas Standard died at Eastchester, in January, 1760, at 
the advanced age of nearly eighty, and was buried by the side of his 
wife, beneath the chancel of the old church on the green. In 18 18, 
their bodies were removed by order of the Vestry and interred under 
the communion table of the present ediffce. a 

The Rev. John Milner succeeded Mr. Standard, under the auspices 
of the Venerable Propagation Society, and was inducted rector of the 
parish church of Westchester, including the several districts of West- 
chester, Eastchester, Yonkers and the Manor of Pelham, on the 12th of 
June, 1761. 

The following extracts from the town records relates to the parsonage 
lot described in 1695, as "Lying upon the Green in Eastchester:" — 

"At a public town meeting called by the justices of the town to in- 
quire into several encroachments on lands in said town, held in East- 
chester, on Monday the 30th day of August, 1762, it was agreed that 
these men (Jonathan Fowler, Charles Vincent, John Fowler and Joseph 
Drake,) should regulate the parsonage, and to take a bond of Isaac 
Lawrence of indemnity, to deliver up the same to the town again at his 
decease." 6 

It was during Mr. Milner's ministry that the foundation of the present 
church was laid. In a letter to the secretary of the Venerable Society, 
dated Westchester, 1 761, he says: — 

a Their remains were found in a good state of preservation, but crumbled to pieces on ex- 
posure to the atmosphere. Tradition says, that Mr. Standard gave certain lands to the church 
on condition that the remains of himself and wife should be removed whenever the new edi- 
fice should be built. 

b Town Records of Eastchester. 


2 35 

"The people of Eastchester have laid the foundation of a new church 
of stone, seventy-one feet by eighty-eight, in the room of a small decayed 
wooden building erected in the infancy of the settlement." 

In the year 1766, Mark Christian was appointed sexton for the town, 
an office which he subsequently held under the trustees of the church. 
Upon the 1st of April, of that year, he was directed,' "To take care of 
the Green, to see that hogs don't dig, and to dig graves, and to find a 
good bier." a 

On the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Milner, the Rev. Dr. Seabury, 
afterwards Bishop of Connecticut, and the first American Bishop, was 
inducted rector of the parish church of Westchester and its precincts, 3d 
of Dec, 1766. June. 25th, 1767, he writes to the secretary in these 
words : — 

"At Eastchester, which is four miles distant, the congregation is gen- 
erally larger than at Westchester. The old church in which they meet, 
as yet, is very cold. They have erected and just completed the roof of 
a large well built stone church, on which they have expended, they say, 
^700 currency; but their ability seems exhausted, and I fear I shall 
never see it finished. I applied last winter to his Excellency, Sir Henry 
Moore, for a brief in their favor, but the petition was rejected." 

In 1777, he wrote to the Society: — "With regard to my own mission, 
I can only say, that it is utterly ruined." Services had been suspended 
for some time in Eastchester, and the congregation dispersed. At this 
period the church was used as an hospital, and subsequently served the 
purpose of a court house. The following item occurs in the records of 
the Court of Common Pleas : — 

"At a Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery, held at 
the church at Eastchester, in and for the County of Westchester, on 
Tuesday, the 12th day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1787, present, 
the Honourable Richard Morrris, Esq., Chief-Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Judicature, for the State of New York, Stephen Ward, Jona- 
than J. Tompkins, Ebenezer S. Burling and Benjamin Stevenson, Jus- 
tices of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery for the County of 
Westchester, &c." 

St. Paul's^ church, Eastchester, was first incorporated on the 12th of 
March, 1787, in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature, entitled: — 

a At a town meeting held 7th of April, 1767, "It was agreed that Dr. Wright should not be 
tnolested in his hurrying yard on said Green in said town."— Town Records. 



Passed 6th of April, 1784. 

" The preamble of this act recites the 38th article of the Constitution. 

Article 1. — Directs that not less than three or exceeding nine in number of 
Trustees, are to be elected, to transact all affairs relative to the temporalities of 
their respective churches. 

Article 4. — Whether the same consist of lands, tenements, &c, and whether the 
same shall have been given, granted or devised to and for their use, and they and 
their successors shall lawfully have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy all and singu- 
lar the churches, meeting-houses, parsonages, burying places and lands thereunto 
belonging, with the hereditaments and appurtenances heretofore by the said 
church occupied or enjoyed, by whatsoever name or names, person or persons, 
as if the same were purchased and had, or to them given or granted, or by them 
or any of them used and enjoyed for the uses aforesaid, to them and their succes- 
sors, to the sole and only proper use and benefit of them the said Trustees and 
their successors for ever, &c. 

Article 6. — And the Trustees are also to regulate and order the renting of pews 
in the said churches, and the perquisites of the said church arising from the break- 
ing of the ground in the cemetery, or church-yard, and in the churches for bury- 
ing the dead, &c. a 

Under this Act, the following persons were elected Trustees : " Thomas 
Bartow, John Wright, Isaac AVard, Elisha Shute, Lewis Guion and 
Philip Pell, Tun. 

After this incorporation, all management of the Church and Church 
property at town meetings is dropped. The Church now manages her 
own affairs, her power and right to do so, being fully recognized by the 
town • for upon the 3d of April, 1787, prior to the incorporation, it was 
resolved at town meeting, " To erect a school house, and to set it on 
the Green near where the stocks formerly stood " — but this resolution 
was never carried into effect, because the Church had been incorporated, 
and consequently claimed the Green exclusively as her own. The very 
fact, too, that the old church erected since 1692, once stood upon the 
Green is conclusive evidence that this property is still vested in the 
Church. In 1790, therefore, it was ordered by the town, "To build the 
school house on town ground, by Charles Guion's, where it formerly 
stood." Again, at a town meeting in 1792, it was declared; "That the 

a "The trustees were directed to make an annual report between the first of January and' 
the first of April, to the Chancellor, or one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, or any of 
the Judges of ttif Court of Common Pleas, &c." Laws of N. Y., IT'S to ITS", Greenleaf's edi- 
tion, vol. 1, chap, xviii, 71. 


tmrial ground shall, and of right, ought to belong to the Church." After 
the election of the Trustees, too, the sexton was always appointed by 
the Church. 

On the 10th of December, 1787, an agreement was entered into be- 
tween a majority of the Trustees of the Episcopal Church in Eastchester, 
of the one part, and William Heskins, carpenter, of the other part, where- 
in the latter agreed " To erect and build a pulpit, reading desk, and 
clerk's seat in the said church, according to the dimensions in the plan 
by him exhibited to the said Trustees, and the form of the pulpit in the 
church at Yonkers, &c." 

The Trustees not only anxious to finish the church, but to obtain the 
services of a suitable minister, addressed the following letter to the Rev. 
Mr. Moore, afterwards Bishop of the Diocese : — ■ 


Eastchestee, 15th Dec, 1787- 
Mev. Sir, 

" We have this day disposed of the pew ground in our church in a manner 
that promises success to our religious endeavors. We have also a prospect of 
completing our church in a respectable manner, and New Roche lie will join us 
in engaging a gentleman of the profession of the gospel to officiate in the two 
places. From a reliance on your pious wishes to promote the Christian Religion, 
we beg leave that whenever a gentleman of character, and qualified, in your 
opinion, for our purpose, may come to your knowledge, and whose condition, 
may be adapted to our situation, that you'll please to signify the same to us. 
We are, Rev. Sir, with much respect, 

Your humble servants, 

The Trustees." 

In 1789, the Trustees appointed Marcus Christian for one year, bell- 
ringer of the church, for which service he was allowed $4 per annum.* 

The following year, the inhabitants of Eastchester appear to have as- 
sociated themselves in the ministry, with the parish of Yonkers ; for, "at 
a meeting of the Trustees, March 20th, 1790, Mr. Pell, one of the Trus- 
tees, produced a letter directed to the Right Rev. Samuel Provoost, D. 
D., Bishop of the State of New York, requesting the favor of his visiting 

a At a meeting of the Vestry on the 7th of May, 1791, " Marcus Christian, the sexton to the 
church in Eastchester, was sent for and examined respecting the bell's being rung on Satur- 
day, the 30th of April, on the family of James Bogart's moving out of this place ; which charge 
he denied, and, in his examination, said he was lame in bed, and was not at the church that 
day. He was further examined on his former conduct, on his selling licure in the belfrie of 
the church, on a training day, which he acknowledged. Whereupon they did agree he was 
not worthy to keep the keys of the church, or to be employed as sexton ; upon which he de- 
livered the key and was dismissed the service." 

In 1791 James Pell was elected sexton and bell ringer. He was succeeded by Benjamin 
Bartow in 1794. 


the church in Eastchester next month, in order to ordain the Rev. Mr. 
Cooper, a priest for this and Yonkers church." On this occasion, 
William Crawford was requested to render an account of the rent due 
the church from him, for the glebe. 

In 1792, we find the town defining the boundaries necessary for the 
church, for a yard and burial ground ; accommodating the remainder, of 
what was called the Church Green, (the site of the old church, and burial 
place of one of its ministers) to public occasions, and appointing trustees 
to carry the same into execution, notwithstanding the church had been 
in possession exclusively for nearly one hundred years. 

"At a town meeting held in Eastchester, 3d of April, 1792, it was agreed as 
follows: — and it is also agreed by vote at this town meeting, that there shall be 
three trustees chosen, who shall have power, and are hereby authorized to affix and 
ascertain, in conjunction with the trustees of the Episcopal Church of the town 
of Eastchester, the quantity and boundaries of the land necessary for said 
church aod burying ground ; and such boundaries when so fixed and determined 
on shall be declared in a certificate by the said trustees of the town, which is now 
to be chosen, under their hands and seals, and delivered to the Trustees of said 
Church, which certificate shall forever hereafter operate as a bar to any claim of 
this town to the lands within the said described boundaries. Power was also 
given to the trustees to lease out any of the public lauds aud tenements to the 
best advantage. The meeting proceeded to nominate aud choose three men as 
trustees of said town, viz : Nehemiah Marshall, Beujamin Morgan, and James 

The following certificate appears in the town books immediately after 
the above resolution : — 

W/iereas, we the subscribers, by a vote and order of the town meeting of the 
inhabitants of the town of Eastchester, in the County of Westchester, held in 
said town on the 3d day of April, 1 792, were authorized and empowered to affix 
and ascertain, in conjunction with the Trustees of the Episcopal Church in East- 
Chester aforesaid, the boundaries and quantity of land necessary and convenient 
for said church, and for a burial place adjacent to the same. 

And wliereas, we, the said subscribers, having on the day of the date hereof, 
met with a majority of the trustees of said church, and having proceeded to view 
the premises, and in order to furnish the said church with sufficiency of ground 
for a yard and burial ground, and also to accommodate the remainder of what is 
called the Green, to public occasion, Do, in pursuance of the trust reposed in us 
by the vote or order above mentioned, hereby certify, that the said trustees of the 
church aforesaid shall and of right ought to possess the ground comprehended 
within the limits following, for the use and purposes aforesaid, that is to say : — 
Beginning at the distance of 34^ feet directly north-east, from the north-east 
corner of said church, from thence extending in a straight line westerly, observ- 
ing the distance of 28 feet from the front of said church, until it comes to the edge 
of the bank between the upland and salt marsh, thence southerly by the said 

I (foot pfl ■ ' ' 


Charles Morgan, ot Flushing = Ellzabeth 


James, of Eastchester, = Abigail . 

James^l.Anu Morhouse 


Caleb = 1. Abigail DraKe 
111, 1796=2 Isabella Gulon 

Charles .jSuaannah Guion 

Charlotte Abigail 

Elijah Elijah 

Angevlne Johnso n 


»avid_i Abigail Ward 

^.Margaret Ward 
jB.PbOBbe Astor 

Moaea Hetty Vincent 

Jame$ = Mary Elijah = Levina Benjamin = l. Miriam Ward Caleb = Phcebe 
field = *2. Dinah Morgan 


i i 

HI I'M £ 

LHSnSrf !« r e E K > » S 
StfllM gSfeSEPf 

?l OB 

Morgan £ p ^-" 


SB £3 

1 15 If 

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L - 1 1 1 1 „ 1 1 

1 2 _ < 

Maria L. married C. II. Smith 

Chariea^Tane Quion 

Obarl el M. \ iv 1 1 1 b tan J.Barton \bipuli_John Drake Phoebe „J. Le Count Susan = Moscs Drake Sarah = J. Wood Hannah .^Moses Hunt Mary=Jno. Barker 

I 1 I f 1 i 1 i i 

James P. Julian. SmlBi BaiahA W.Wilgnt Maria A. Charles L. 

Charles J. M. .1. Timriir Mars ^. Thompson PlnoKnej Peter TJ. Sarah Bush AblJahQ Mary Bush Abigail J. _G. P. Callender nester Jsaiah Washburn Margaret A. _A. M. Dederc 


James L._Elizabeth B. Halsey 

James L. _Allce M. mil 

Chas. V._SnsanM. Zn <& 
I Badeau F 3 , % 

udlihli. Charlotte C, EmmaL. William M. 

■ ■ 1: itobeit Marshall, Jr. Ralph B. Joseph A. 

I I J 
■n ° X 

- T < li'i I! James L 

> M 6 Miriam J. W. D. 


Tbank and marsh, until it comes to the fence by the salt meadows, at a monu- 
ment stone ; from thence easterly along said fence, until a line be drawn parallel 
from the first mentioned boundaries, at the distance of 20 feet from the east side 
of said church will touch the said fence, and along that line to the first mentioned 
bounds. Nevertheless, always reserving to the proprietors of salt meadow, 
adjoining said land, and those who have meadows southerly of said land, their 
usual right of way in going to and coming from said meadows with their hay, 
through the land above described. 

Witness our hands and seals, the 28th day of April, 1792. 

Ben. Morgan, [l. s.] 

James Morgan, [l. s.] 

Nehemiah Marshall, [l. s.] 
"Witnesses, Williarn Crawford, Dorcas Crawford. " a 

Now, although the origin of the first church edifice in the town of 
Eastchester is clearly traceable to the action of the town, yet it is very 
evident that it was first commenced in 1692-3, by a tax levied on 
Churchmen and Dissenters, promiscuously, according to their real estate, 
and not finished until the act of 1699 was passed, which provided, that 
" The trustees of each town were to make a yearly rate for building a 
church where wanting." According to the principles of common law, 
at this period, meeting houses erected by public tax belonged to the 
Church established by law. Hence, we find Mr. Bartow and his suc- 
cessors after their establishment and induction, by the then Governors, 
claiming the chapel or meeting house at Eastchester as their own, and 
not only so, but keeping the Dissenters out of it. The parsonage or 
glebe with all its rights and appurtenances was likewise voted for public 
purposes, and belonged to the rector ex-officio ; for, say the rules of com- 
mon law, concerning glebes, " Every church of common right is entitled 
to house and glebe," and " After induction the freehold of the glebe is 
in the parson." Whilst the wardens and vestrymen, who were the choice 
of the people, elected the rector and provided for his support, the rate- 
payers appear to have regulated the burial ground, voted repairs to the 
church when necessary, and appointed the sexton, as was done in many 
other parishes. This was the state of things prior to the Revolution. 
After peace was established and New York was finally organized as a 
State, an act was passed in 1784 for the incorporation of religious socie- 
ties; and under this act, we have seen, the church at Eastchester was in- 
corporated. Now this act conferred on trustees the right, " Lawfully, to 
have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy all and singular the churches, meeting 
houses, parsonages, burying places and lands, thereunto belonging, with 

a Town Records. " In 1808, the town granted one hundred dollars to be laid out in fencing 
-the burial ground of the church of Eastchester, and supervisors and overseers were directed 
to see it expended." " At the same time a vote was taken to alter the right of way through. 
Ihe burial ground to the verge thereof, and that of the salt meadows belonging to the town." 


the hereditaments and appurtenances heretofore by the said church 
occupied or enjoyed, &c." Whatever rights, therefore, the Church pos- 
sessed prior to the Revolution, were still continued to her by the act of 

Subsequently, however, to the joint action of the trustees "The church 
appointed three persons to enclose the land set off to the church by the 
town," as appears from the following resolutions : — 

"At a meeting of the trustees held at the house of Wm. Crawford, on the 12th 
of March, 1793, it was resolved as follows: — Resolved, that Messrs. Steven Ward, 
Lancaster Uuderhill and Abraham Valentine, be, and they are hereby authorized 
and empowered to inclose the land belonging to the church in Eastchester, as laid 
out and ascertained by trustees chosen on the part of the town of Eastchester, 
and the trustees of the church, by a board fence on the whole front or north side 
thereof, composed of one board at the bottom and shtted above, and that the 
same be of the height of four feet and a half ; and the other parts of said land to> 
be inclosed by a post and rail fence, or such board fence as aforesaid, and that 
the said persons complete the same as conveniently as may be, &c." 

" Resolved further, that the above mentioned persons take and receive the 
profits thereof by plowing for two seasons, any of the said lands, except that 
within the compass of the burial place, and after that to take the grass growing 
out of the said land by pasturing and mowing the same, and render an account 
yearly to the said trustees of such profits, until a full compensation has been 
made by the use thereof for their trouble and expense in fencing the said land.* 

The presumption is, that the trustees of the church supposing their 
title to the ground in question, invalidated either by the reorganization 
of the church in 1787, or of the town in 1788, or perhaps of both, 
acted as the recipient of the same from the town, and wisely asserted no 
claim. It is certain that her action in 1792, did not weaken the title 
she possessed in any land rightfully belonging to her; whilst the effect 
of the certificate, as declared in the resolution of the town before quoted, 
was to be forever a bar to any claim on the part of the town to the lands 
set off. 6 

This church was again incorporated on the 4th of October, 1795, by 
the style and title of "St Paul's Church in the Town of Eastches- 
ter," in pursuance of an Act passed for the relief of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, on the 17th of March, previous. Upon this occasion, 
William Popham and Lancaster Underhill were elected church-wardens ; 
Philip Pell, Lewis Guion, Isaac Ward, John Reed, Isaac Guion, Abra- 
ham Valentine, William Pinckney and William Crawford, vestrymen. 

a Church Records, commencing A.D. 1T87. 

b See Report to the trustees of the town of Eastchester as to the title to the burying ground 
attached to St. Paul's chinch at Eastchester, by Renssalaer Ten Broeck, N. Y. 1853. 
c County Kec. Religious Soc. Lib. A. 10, 11, 12. 


In 1798, the connection between this parish and Yonkers was dis- 
solved,* and an association formed with Westchester in order to procure 
a minister. Upon the 9th of March, 1799, Mr. Isaac Wilkins, then in 
deacon's orders, was called to officiate as minister of the united parishes 
of West and Eastchester. 

In 1 80 1 the Vestry addressed the following letter to the Rector, War- 
dens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, New York : — 


"The wardens and vestrymen of St. Paul's church at Eastchester, in the County 
of Westchester, from a firm belief of the disposition of the corporation of the 
Trinity Church to aid and assist their sister Churches in every undertaking or 
design for encouraging and advancing the interest and increase of their respective 
congregations ; and also from the consideration of their having heretofore ex- 
tended their liberality to other Churches whose circumstances were not more 
needy, are induced to make the following Representation of the situation of the 
said Church, viz : that it was built some few years before the Revolution, but 
left unfinished. That by the depredations commonly attendant thereon, it was 
greatly injured, the wooden part of it being taken away, whereby the walls were 
exposed and so much impaired, that shortly after the retnrn of peace, the little 
remaining part of the former congregation exerted their best, the war having 
enfeebled their abilities, to put the church in some sort of order for public wor- 
ship, and engaged a minister, and in conjunction with Westchester do still re- 
tain one who promises by his talents as a teacher, with an exemplary conduct, 
to promote the cause of religion and enlarge the congregation, &c." 

In April, 1817, the Rev. Ravaud Kearny, A. M., succeeded Mr. 
Wilkins as minister of this parish. He was the son of Philip Kearny, 
whose grandfather, Michael Kearny, emigrated from Ireland to this 
country in 1706. He was born at Newark, N. J., 22d of August, 1791, 
entered Columbia College in 1808, and graduated Bachelor and 
Master of Arts in 181 2. In 181 6 he was ordained deacon, and the 
year following Priest, by the Right Rev. John H. Hobart, and soon 
afterwards commenced his labors here. In 1821, he relinquished the 
rectorship of this parish, and confined himself to the Church at New 
Rochelle, to which benefice he was called in 18 19. Sometime in i82 2 ; 
he resigned the charge of the latter, and accepted a call to St. Mary's 
Parish, Maryland, from whence he removed to St. John's church, Can- 
andaigua, West New York, and in 1828 took charge of St. Paul's church, 
Red Hook, Dutchess County, of which he remained rector until the day 

a Mr. Cooper's farewell sermon was delivered in St. Paul's church, June 16, 17 
Cor. xiii : 11. In the course of it he alludes to nine years of service at Eastchester. 


of his death. He died 8th of May, 1844. His remains were brought 
to New York, and interred in the family vault at St. Mark's church in 
the Bowery. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Kearny, the Rev. Lewis Pintard Bayard, 
from the Diocese of New Jersey, was elected rector of the parish. He 
continued faithfully to discharge the duties of his office both here and 
in New Rochelle, until the 14th of October, 1826, when he was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Lawson Carter, for whose successors see list of 

The first delegates from this parish to the Diocesan Convention, in 
1787, were Philip Pell, Sen., and Thomas Bartow. 

We have previously shown that the present church edifice was erected 
in 1765, by the inhabitants of this town. Situated in a pleasant valley, 
bordering on the Aqueanouncke, it presents from the neighboring hills 
a very picturesque appearance. The building is remarkable for the 
solid character of its masonry, the angles of the edifice being ornamented 
with rustic quoins, the windows and doors also having rustics. A vestry 
and school room have just been built, opening into the east end of the 
church. On the west end is a neat, square tower of three stages, with 
narrow lights, terminating in an octangular lantern, containing a bell 
which bears the following inscription: — "The Gift of the Rev. Thomas 
Standard, 1758. Lester &> Pack, fecit." a 

Immediately above . the tower door are inscribed the initials of the 
principal benefactors, viz. : — P. R. P. — P. P. — D. V. — also a tablet of 
red sand-stone, bearing the date of erection, 1765. The whole edifice 
has recently undergone considerable repairs ; a new chancel arrangement 
made, the walls painted in frescoe, and the church newly seated. It 
deserves to be mentioned that the pulpit and reading desk were origi- 
nally placed between the two south windows. Beneath the chancel 
repose the remains of the Rev. Thomas Standard, former rector of the 
parish, and Mary, his wife. In the gallery is a fine toned organ, pre- 
sented by George Rapalye, Esq., in 1833, at a cost of $800. The 
chandalier and sheds were also his gift. 

The communion silver consists of a flaggon, four chalices and paten. 
The former bears the following inscription : — " To St. Paul's Churchy 
JEastchester, N. Y. In me??iory of Mrs. Mary Grigg, b obi. Jan. 2d, 
1844, JE 71 years" 

a During the Revolutionary War, the hoi 1 and prayer honk formerly used by the Missiona- 
ries of the Vcn. Prop. Sue., were hurried for safe keeping on the farm known as the old Ross 
place, and now owned by E. C. Halsey, Esq. 

b This lady was the daughter of Joshua Pell, Esq., grandson of Thomas Pell, second Lord of 
the Manor of Pelham. 



The chalices are inscribed as follows: — 1st. " The gift of Frederick 
Van Cortlandt, St. Paul's Church, Eastchester, A. D. 1829." 2d and 
3d, marked " A. S." a 4th, " St. Paul's Church, Eastchester, JV. K, 
from Mrs. John Quincy Adams, 1829." This chalice is not only ren- 
dered valuable by the distinguished lady who gave it, but by the melan- 
choly story associated therewith. & 

In the old church book, occurs the following memorandum: — "'To 
cash paid the Rev. Mr. Cooper, to buy a communion cup, jQx \^s jd, 
March 18th, 1793." Upon the Church Green, between the ancient 
locust trees and burial ground, formerly stood the old church, built by 
the town in 1692. This edifice, constructed of wood, was destroyed by 
fire at an early period of the Revolutionary War. 

The church yard which lies on the south and west side of the church, 
is one of the most extensive in the country. 


M. V. D. I. P. D. NOVE I D I D 


14. , ETH. DAY. 1724. 1714 

M. O. D. Ye 27. 1726— A. A. AV. Ye 1730— JOSEPH. DRAKE. DESESED. 
MARCH. THE. 16. DAY. 1731. IN. THE. 70-> YEAR. OF. HIS. AGE,— 
—I. O. D. FEB. 1746—0. H. HOBRED. DECES. ID. Ye YEAR. 1755—. I -J- 
NOVEMBER: IN: THE: 51: YEAR: OF: HIS: AGE: 1747— E. W. O. 
NOVEMBER— M. A * C. JAN. 25. 1764-F. O. DEC. 12— MAJOR SAMUEL 

a Ann, daughter of James Smith, Esq., whose brother, Col. William Smith, married a 
daughter of President Adams, and resided on the Ross place in this town. 

6 The son of this lady being washed overboard from a vessel in the Sound, was found by 
one of the church wardens, and brought to this church for interment. 


On a small marble oblisk is the following : 


to the memory of the 


only son of the late Mrs. L. C. Palmer, 

who departed this life 

on the 15th of November, 1843, 

in the 37th year of his age, , 

and the 8th of his ministry, 7 years of which 
he was Rector of St. John's Church, 
Cauandaigua, N. Y. 

Rest from thy labors, blessed spirit rest ; 
Tho' early called, God's ways are always best, 
Nor need this feeble, partial pen declare 
What was thy need, or what thy labors were. 
The poor, the desolate, the bad reclaimed 
Are mouths for thee, who never wert ashamed 
To own thy Master's cause before the great, 
Nor heeded frowns while laying bare their state ; 
A weeping fiock. children mourn the loss 
Of their lov'd Pastor. Steadfast on the Cross 
He kept their gaze — "Watch," was his latest crj r , 

" Neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that ivatereth, 
But God that giveth the increase." — 1st Cor. 3d chap., 7th verse. 



19 Nov. 1702, Rev. John Bartow, CI. A. M. pr. mort. War. and Ves. 

8 July 1727, Rev. Thos. Standard, CI. A. M. " " 
12 June 1761, Rev. John Milner, CI. A. M. pr. resig., " 

3 Dec. 1766, Rev. Sam. Seabury, CI. A. M. " " 

3 Mar. 1799, Rev. Isaac Wilkins, Presb. D.D. pr. mort, 

Apr. 1817. Rev. Ravaud Kearny, Presb. A. M. pr. resig. •' 

1821, Rev. Lewis P. Bayard, " 

14 Oct. 1826, Rev. Lawson Carter, Presb. " " 

9 Aug. 1836, Rev. John Grigg, Presb. " " 
25 July 1837, Rev. Robert Bolton, Presb. " " 

1 Apr. 1846, Rev. Edwin Harwood, Presb. " " 

22 Aug. 1847, Rev. Henry E. Duncan, Presb. " " 

1 Feb. 1852, Rev. William S. Coffey, Presb., present incumbent. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church in the village of Eastchester was 
first organized in 1836, and incorporated the same year by the name 
and title of " The Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of East- 
chester." Thomas Griffin, Peter Bertine, Josiah Sickles, Nicholas Duff, 
and Gilbert Underhill, trustees. The church was erected in 1837, and 
a small parsonage has been added since. 

illf 3 "*Hr^ &_ iHP - — -^ gg ^ 


ra raa as 





.- :'■ 

■Hfe, . 'Hi 




This portion of Westchester County seems to have suffered severely 
aduring the War of the Revolution, and was constantly the scene of 
:marches, points of defence, and skirmishes. Here, also, the lawless 
u skinner" and "cow-boy " practised their black deeds of rapine un- 

In October, 1776, a skirmish took place in this town between the 
patriots, on their route from King's Bridge to Westchester, and the 
enemy, under Lord Howe. For some time the Connecticut troops 
were billeted in the village. Here Gilbert Vincent, Jr., who, like his 
father, was the blacksmith of the town, was shot by order of a French 
officer belonging to Col. Armaud's cavalry of the French Legion for re- 
fusing to shoe his horse on the Lord's Day, in consequence of which 
Elijah, his brother, joined the British army, took a lieutenant's com- 
mission, and throughout this whole region became a terror to all who 
opposed the Crown. On the 3d October, 1779, "Lieutenant Gill of 
the American Dragoons, patrolling in Eastchester, found a superior 
force in his rear, and had no alternative but to surrender or cut his way 
through them ; he chose the latter, and forced his way, when he found 
a body of infantry still behind the horse. These he also charged, and 
on his passing them his horse was wounded, and threw him, when he 
fell into the enemy's hands. Two of the lieutenant's party — which con- 
sisted of twenty-four — were killed, and one taken prisoner; the rest 
escaped safe to their regiments."* 

In the vicinity of the village a detachment under the command of 
Gen. Parsons, fitted out in sleighs, (returning from an enterprise against 
the enemy at Morrisania), were overtaken and almost entirely cut to 
pieces by a party of British light horse. 6 

The small stream which waters the western part of the village of 
Eastchester was formerly known as Rattlesnake Brook. An early town 
order requires the inhabitants to meet together one day in the Spring 
for the destruction of this dangerous reptile. As late as 1775 one of 
them was killed near the brook, measuring some six feet. Feb. 1st, 
1696-7, John Pell, Sen., had the privilege of erecting a mill on this 
brook. In 1 7 2 1 Nathaniel Tompkins was permitted by the town to 
erect a fish- weir on Rattlesnake Creek, "to ye advantage of himself to 
catch ye fish that swimmeth therein, for ye space of ten years from this 
date, providing he put it up at once." 

Near the mouth of the brook, on " Mill Lane," is situated the tide 

a Heath's Memoires, 218. 
& Hugh. Gaines' Gazette. 

c Town Record. It appears from the Town Record, that as early as 1703 there existed a 
mill covenant between the town and Col. Caleb Heathcote. Town Record, vol. ix, p. 54. 


mill of the late Robert Reid, Esq. This gentleman was the son of 
John Reid, who was born at Dalmellington, Ayreshire, Scotland, in. 
1752, and bought land of John Bartow. His grandfather, Robert Reid, 
was of Ayreshire, Scotland, and descended from the Reids of Loch 
Hannoch, of the Clan Chatu, settled at Craig-on-Hill, Ayrshire, 1644. 
Robert Reid's mother was Mary Bartow. He had five maiden sisters ; 
one of whom, Phoebe, still survives and occupies the property which 
they have held for nearly a century. The Reid cottage occupies an 
extensive view of the winding creek and the high grounds of Pelham. 
The adjoining property formed a portion of the ancient planting grounds 
of Eastchester. 

Further to the south-west lies Black Dog Brook, sometimes called 
Hutchinson's Brook, so mysteriously connected with the fate of the cele- 
brated Ann Hutchinson. This stream constitutes a portion of the 
southern boundary between the towns of East and West Chester ; it 
discharges into the Aqueanouncke, or Hutchinson's Creek. 

Upon the Western shore of Hutchinson's Creek is located the village 
landing already alluded to. In this stream a British vessel of war was 
captured during the Revolution by a party of whale-boat men. 

In the south-west corner of Eastchester lies the estate of the late 
George Faile, Esq., (at present occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Thomas 
H. Rutherford), formerly the property of Fleetwood Marsh, Esq., a 
native of Dutchel, Buckinghamshire, England, for many years a free- 
holder in this town. The situation of the estate is very fine, command- 
ing all the various undulations of a hilly district. The house, seated 
upon rising ground, overlooks the valley to the south-east, Eastchester 
Creek, and the distant waters of the Sound. 

The adjoining property on the west belonged to the late Robert 
Givans, Esq. The mansion is surrounded by extensive plantations and 
ample woodlands. The latter affords a favorite rendezvous, or head- 
quarters, for vast flocks of crows, which receive every protection from 
their generous benefactors. The noise created by them in their evening 
assemblage and re-ascension in the morning, is incredible — causing the 
wood to re-echo with a thousand reverberations. 

In the immediate neighborhood are the properties of the late Judge 
Effingham, C. Schieffelin and Col. C. M. Schieffelin, late member of 
the Assembly. The former was once owned by Capt. Solomon Fowler, 
of De Lancy's Refugee Corps, who was killed at Horse Neck during 
the Revolutionary War. It was afterwards confiscated. Col. Schieffe- 
lin's residence occupies the summit of a high ridge, overlooking the 
valley of Eastchester on the east. 

To face pagi 

Arms: — Ar. a cross, raguly, gu. Crest: — A demi lurbot. tail upwards. Motto: — Quoero, Tn/oenfo. 

John Lawrence, emigrated from England to the colony of New William, emigrated to Amcrl 

Yith his = E!izabeth Smith, of Smitntown, da. of Richard, Thomas, one of the patentees of Newtown, ^ 

Amsterdam, In 161 1 ; one of the (ir*( patentees of North Ilemp- 
, i i., nin; a resident of Westchester, 1644; deputy to 
Hartford from Got. Btnyvesanl in 1688; Mayor of New fork, 
and member oi thoGovemoi s Council at the tun*' of ids death 
m 1699; Judge ol the Supreme court. Will dated 1698. 

brother, one of the first patentees of Fush- patentee of Smitntown; this lady afterwards 

ing, in 1G45, proprietor of Lawrence Neck, married Sir Philip Carteret, Governor of New 

magistrate of Flushing, under the Dutch, Jersey. From her, Elizabethtown takes its 

ob. 1680. name. 

16CG, proprietor of Hell-gate neck 
major in Leisler's forces, 1690; died at 
Newtown, July, 1703. 

Thomas, jolnl patentee with it's Father, BTanclna Smith, widow 
anoesi er branch. «.fM. smith. 


John, high sheriff of Queens County, 1698, 
commander of a troop of horse, ancestor 
of the Newtown branch, mar. Elizabeth. 

Jonathan, who removed to Westchester, ancestor = 
of the Westchester branch, and probably of I 
Rockland County branch, ob. ante. 1T20. 

Thomas, Jnstloo ol the] ' 

Bergen County, fr 1709-1718 

Judge ol Court ol 0* non 

testoi "i \. .i, branoh. 

1600-7, removed from H l.AnnaSonire 
Long [aland to Bastohester, olr. I — a.Eathcr 
1689, ob. cir. 1790. < lantffe, 

rohn, nat. 1C08, ob. 1732, re- = Elizabeth 
moved to Cortlandt's patent I 

Thomas, will dated 13th 
May, 1762, lib 18, p. 202. 

l.Isoao,nat, Kezlah Pell, nat. 1729, 
1794 ob. 26th March, 1795 

■ §.- 

"at 8 



5 I 

[.Joseph, killed by a 
fall from his horse 
prior to the Revo- 


bert, nat. 173S, ^Margaret 

S.Aaron, nat. ^1. Jane Lawrence 

ob. July 17, 1817 


= 2.Mrs. 



19th Mar., 
1741,0b. 2 

ob. ISth Aug., 
jB.Craft.Ob. 1929 

I.Anna, nau April sw^Hehemlab Hunt, 
1729, ob. Aug. 12, nat. May Slst, 
1796 1T24, ob. July 

20*,h, 1792 

Mi t 

•^ •* « (O 

Note :— See Hisinrind (Jenenlngy of the Li: 

: L 

K ? m e 

■ family, i>y Thos. La 

03 B 
5 2 

5 5 


There is a remarkable rock in this vicinity well worthy the stranger's 
notice, marked with a rude impression of a human foot seven inches in 
length, pointing west. It is a perfect impression of the right foot; and 
what is very singular, another track occurs on the opposite side of the 
sound, on Long Island. There appear to be several tracks upon that 
island. " About half a mile from the fort on Montauk Point," says Mr. 
Prime, " in a southeasterly direction, is a granite rock, imbedded in the 
ground, on the upper surface of which is the apparent impress of a 
human foot. The figure is as perfect and distinct as would follow from 
the pressure of the left foot upon some cohesive substance, except being 
deficient in a toe ; a deficiency not at first sight apparent, and discern- 
able only by inspection. No artist could have chiselled a more perfect 
resemblance. The impression is still fresh, and without the least ap- 
pearance of injury from time. There are two other tracks less perfect 
and distinct. The one in the Indian field, and the other west of Fort 
Pond. The heel of the foot is towards the east in all of them, as though 
formed in passing to the west. Excepting that they are the footsteps of 
the evil spirit, no record or tradition pretends to give their story. They 
existed at the first settlement by the whites, and were a subject of 
pawwa to the Indians."* Perhaps they are in some way mysteriously 
connected with "Satan's toe" and the "stepping stones" off Throck- 
morton's Neck, by which the evil spirit made good his retreat when 
worsted by the Mohegans, or enchanted Wolf tribe of Indians, during 
some unknown period of the stone age. 

Within a short distance of the village was situated the estate of the 
late Col. John R. Hayward, Esq., who in 1846 represented this county 
in Assembly. His son is the present Robert Hayward, of Rye. Col. 
Hayward purchased the property of the executors of the late Richard 
Shute. In 167 1 James Eustice and others were appointed to lay out 
land for Richard Shute (ancestor of the before-mentioned Richard), near 
Rattlesnake Creek. 

Most of the farms in this neighborhood, which once covered the old 
Lawrence property, embracing at one period nearly five hundred acres, 
are now included in the most thickly settled portion of Mount Vernon. 
A part of the Lawrence estate was anciently called Virginia from its 
beautiful appearance. Its earliest proprietor was Isaac Lawrence, Esq., 
who originally emigrated from Long Island to Eastchester about 1689. 
On the 12th of May, 1690, Isaac Lawrence was chosen by the inhabit- 
ants of this town, one of the pound-masters for the year ensuing. In 
1700 he appears to have been town treasurer, and in 172 1, his name 
aN.S. Prime's History of Long Island. , 


occurs in a list of the Grand Jurors for the County of Westchester. 
Isaac Lawrence died about 1730, leaving three sons, the eldest of whom 
was Isaac Lawrence, grandfather of the late Augustus Lawrence, Esq., 
who for so many years filled with great credit the office of Justice of the 
Peace for the town of Eastchester, whose grandson is the present Dennis 
McMahon, Esq., of Castle Eden, Morrisiania, The Lawrences of West- 
chester County, New Jersey and Long Island, descended from John 
Lawrence of St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, England," who died in 1538 
and was buried in the Abbey of Ramsey, Huntingdon. His eldest son 
was Henry Lawrence of St. Ives, born 1600, a graduate of Emanuel 
College in 1622, who came to New England in 1635 with Lord Saye 
and Seal, Lord Brooke and others, and obtained grants on the Connecti- 
cut River. He subsequently returned to England and was made Lord 
President of the Privy Council and Member of Parliament for Hertford- 
shire — and was buried in St. Margaret's church, Hertford. John 
Lawrence his youngest son, of Great St. Albans in Hertfordshire, died 
circ. 1626 leaving by his wife Joan, who was born 1593, three sons, — 
John, William and Thomas Lawrence — who emigrated from Great St. 
Albans, in Hertfordshire, to America, during the political troubles that 
led to the dethronement and death of Charles I. The youngest of the 
three sons, Thomas Lawrence, was one of the patentees of Newtown, 
L. L, and proprietor of Hell-gate neck; and died at Newton, July, 1703, 
leaving by his wife Mary, four sons, Thomas, joint patentee with his 
father and ancestor of the New Jersey branch ; Isaac, born in 1666-7, 
who emigrated as we have seen, to Eastchester in 1689 and died circ. 
x 736- John who removed to Cortlandt Manor in 1730, and Jacob 
Lawrence of Westchester. 

The Pinckney estate in this town originally embraced the properties 
of Darius Lyon, Esq., late sheriff of the county, and others adjoining. 
The Pinckney residence, which stood a little to the south-west of Mr. 
Lyons was quite a stately affair ; and appears to have been a favorite 
resort for officers of the Royal army, when stationed in its vicinity during 
the Revolutionary War. In front of this mansion the young and hand- 
some Henry Pinckney was shot before the eyes of his family, (by a party 
of Continental soldiers) whilst endeavoring to effect his escape on horse- 
back, April 2, 1786. 

a The first aucestor of this family was Sir Richard Lawrens in 1104, who was knighted by 
Richard I. at tie siege of Acre in 1191. This individual bore for his coat of arms " Argent a 
cross raguly gules," which is still carried by his American descendants"— after tins the 
family became eminent in England. In Faulkner's History of Chelsea, Ac, he says, "The 
Lawrences were allied to all that was great and illustrious ; cousins to the ambitions Dudley, 
Duke of Northumberland, to the Earl of Warwick, to Lord Guilford Dudley, who expiated on 
the scaffold the short lived royalty of Lady Jane Grey ; to the brilliant Leicester, who set two 
queens at variance, aud to Sir Philip Sidney who refused a throne. "— Riker's Annals of New- 
town, p. 281. 

To face page 243, vol. 1. 


Arms :— Or. four fusils in fesse gules. Crest :— Out of a ducal coronet or, a griffon's heart ppr. 

Philip Pinckney, one of the llrst patentees of Kaslchester, 1G04_ 

il. :il FnirMeld, ic.m 

Thomas Pinckney, of Eastchester^Hannah 


John, living in 1699_Abigail, da. of Thos. nuut 

Thomas, died = Elizabeth Philip 

Jo luinan _ 1 .Sarah Ward Hannah Jane 

- 2. Alida Staff Susannah 
a Dutch lad; 

h Aim Rachel. ,Tohn Pell, M Lord of the 
Deborah Abigail Hanoi <>' ivihaiu 

Sarah Abigail Mary Isabella 

Thomas, nat.„_Abby Israel = Dorothy Rich Philip^Eluubcth Town- Wil'iam^Freelove, da of S,nah. married Jemima, 

( semi, da of John 

"|" JohnTownscnd John Willis 

Th08. Ward Thos. Fowler 

Jonathan, ob. s.p. 
Mcrlam. ob. s. p. 
Sarah, ob. b. p. 

John, nat. <illhcrt,nat. John, nut, Philip, nat, 21st CtLar.ea.nat Bl 
1741, ob. May 81st, isffi July, OotObST, 1T4Q Nov., IT81, of 
1744 1743 1740,ofNo- ofNovaScotla NovaScotla 

va Scotia 

David, a repHMDt- 
atlve of tin- ttOlllO 

oi aaiembly of 
Novu Bootla 


Richard ^Susan Carhart 

I.Lewis 2.j'ohn 3. William 4. Israel Rachel, m. Jacob Post 

Thomas Brlggs Elijah Josiah Rachel Rebecca 

H k kk -i 

w g ir = n 2. Henry, killed ^Esther 
j§ D §■£ EL during the I Coutant, 

g o 3 a 7 " P war da. of Jacob 

9 til P 1 TTT— 

p William n. _Hannah I.Elijah 
Berline 2.Peter 

3. Stephen 

Jonathan ^Elizabeth 
I Palmer 

Micajah.. Jane Cross William_l Jarvls James _Lowerey David—Fanny IMclntvrc I.Frcclovc 2. Mary, in. ll.leiiilnin, in. 4. Ann, in. ts.»cblna,m. O.Phicbo.m. i Sarah, 

_S.Bmlsall m. Thos. Dan. Hob- MaJ. Fra/,er, Joseph Elijah Elijah m. Dl 

Hunt erts 11. officer Itcynolds Ward lll.-h lioot 

iralza o =? ii - B %> So 1 =?fe |g ir 9 Q £ 3> o ? '% £^ g fc fai > o 5 g h j. 

1. William 2..IamcH li.Peter 1 Kilns 


Jaines Henry ^Itachel Ann Haws George Washington William ^Elizabeth Davenport Kertine .^Louise Frear Charles 

Fred Haws_Agnes P. Arthur James Henry _nenrietta Swann Oeorge Albert „Frances P. Gale Wm. Hemy_Plke Charles Henrietta W.E.Frost Emma_ Scott R.Bamea Robert fforreet Emma Lather G. TIIIOMon Hannah Duncan Wm. II, l'lnkney 

Deborah —ObarleiBalle; Bather Hubert III Kllza .I11II11 Matilda .las. Ilmii-ui I'hyfe 



The Pinckney's of Eastchester, descend from Philip Pinckney, one of 
the first ten proprietors and patentees of this town, who originally emi- 
grated from Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1664. This individual was doubt- 
less one of the original settlers of Fairfield, who, like Ludlow and others, 
came from the West of England with the Rev. John Warham and Com- 
pany. Philip Pinckney was a lineal representative of the Pinckney's of 
Tatterset, Pinckney Manor, Norfolk County, England, whose ancestor 
Gilo de Pinckeni or Pinckenie, came into that country in the time of 
William the Conqueror.* "In the 19th of Henry II, (11 7 2- n 73), in 
Hugh Peverel and others, as Trustees, settled Tatersete, Pinkney's Ma- 
nor, with that of Brunsthorp, on James de Pynkeney and Joan his wife, 
intail, with remainder, to Hugh their son, and Isabel his wife intail," 
"William de Pinkeni by deed; 9th of King John (1207-1208) confirmed 
to William son of Richard Anglo (that is English) by deed; sans date, a 
croft, &c. The seal to this deed is of green wax : — a crescent and a de- 
crescent in chief with one crescent in base.' & "In St. Ethelred's church 
Norwich, England, there is a stone, in the chancel below the rails, for 
Henry Pinckeny and Elizabeth his wife; she died 27th of Sept., 1700, 
^Etat 86. c 

The Pinckney estate is watered on the East by the Aqueanouncke 
(Hutchinson's River,) and its tributary called Black Dog or Ann Hooke's 

The Drake's were also extensive proprietors in the town, the old estate 
called "Nonsuch," being bounded on the west by the Aquehung, or 
Bronx, on the north by the Yonkers road, leading to Swayne's Mill; on 
the east by the White Plains Turnpike, and on the south by the Hunt's 
Bridge road. The property is now owned by various individuals. It is 
somewhat curious that the only portion of the original estate lately ves- 
ted in the Drake family was the site once occupied by the barns, and 
out-buildings of the late Moses Drake. This individual was the son of 
Benjamin Drake, third in descent from Samuel Drake, Esq., of Fairfield, 
one of the first of the ten proprietors of Eastchester, in 1664. 

On the 9th September, 1650, Samuel Drake received a grant of land 
from the freeholders of Fairfield. Upon the 8th of Feb., 1677, Samuel 
Drake of Eastchester sold unto his son Samuel Drake, three separate 
parcels of land lying in Fairfield. d 

a Bloomfleld's Norfolk, vol. v, pp. 5, 6. " Hamo de Pinkeney, time of Henry II, marr. 
Alice who died, siezed of the manor of Pinkeney in 1238-9. Their son John de Pinkeney left 
James de Pinkeney, Lord of Pinkeney, in 1335-6. James Pinkeney left by his wife Joan, Hugh 
de Pinkeney, who married Isabel, their heirs held the Lordship of Pinkeney in 1399-1400." 

6 Bloomfleld's Norfolk, vol. v. pp. 5, 6. The arms of Pinkney or Pinkeni, of Buckingham- 
shire, Essex, Norfolk and Northamptenshire temp, Edward I, were, or, four fusils in fisse gau. 
The arms of Plilip Pinckney of Eastchester were the same. 

c The family is now represented. 

d Fairfield Town Records. 


The will of Samuel Drake, Sen., bears date May 30th, i676. a Sam- 
uel Drake is presumed to be a grand-son of John Drake of the Council 
of Plymouth, one of the original company established by King James I, 
in 1606, for settling New England. John his son came to Boston in 
1630, and finally settled in Windsor, Conn., from whence his son Sam- 
uel removed to Fairfield. The will of Samuel Drake, Sen., of Fairfield, 
bears date 12th of December, 1691, by which it appears that his moth- 
er's name was Anne, and his wife's Ruth, and that he had a sister Re- 
becka Rogers, then living at Eastchester. "To his cousin Joseph, son 
to his brother Joseph of Eastchester, he bequeaths all his lands situate 
in Fairfield." & 

The Drake family are of great antiquity and" descend from the old 
house of Drake of Ashe, Devonshire, England, a branch of which gave 
birth to the illustrious Sir Francis Drake. The name is supposed to be 
derived from the heraldrick Wivern. the arms of the family, which is 
another name for the fabled dragon of antiquity, Draco or Drago being 
a Roman name, as late as Sir Francis Drake — writers called him the 
Dragon " c — of this family was Joseph Rodman Drake, the poet ; the 
late Charles Drake, d M.D., of New York, E. G. Drake, Esq., of Scars- 
dale, and Thomas Drake of New Rochelle, who is a lineal representative 
of Samuel Drake, one of the first settlers of Eastchester in 1664. 

Opposite the late Mr. Drake's residence is situated the property of 
the late Elisha Shute whose ancestor was Thomas Shute another of the 
early patentees of this town in 1665 f Richard Shute, the son of Thomas 
was for many years recorder of Eastchester. Elisha Shute was the father 
of the late Richard Shute whose sons are still living in the town. 

The representatives of James Eustis, another of the ten proprietors in 
1664, are also numerous in East and Westchester. 

On the west side of the town at West Mount Vernon on Hunt's 
Bridge, on the Bronx, is located the New York and Harlem Railroad 
Depot. About two miles and a half north of this place is situated Bronx 
Mill, the property of the late James P. Swain, Esq., formerly known as 
Underhill Mill. 

The Bronx River here affords a fine water power to an extensive 
grist mill and screw manufactory. The building is a large and hand- 
some structure of stone, four stories high, and measures forty feet by 
eighty. The machinery is of the best kind, and the water is sufficient to 

a Surrogate's Office, N. Y., vol. iii, 47. 
b Prob. Kec. Fairfield Co., Conn., 1GS9 to 1701. 

c Gen. and Bros account of Drake family by Samuel G. Drake, Boston, 1845. 
d Corporation Doc. xxxvi., 375, Repofl lor 1833. 

e The Inventory of the late Shoot or Shute dec'ed, of Fairfield, Conn., Oct. 3, 1671, Probate 
Rec, p. 123. 


carry the mill throughout the year, which enables it to grind at all sea- 

The course of the Bronx immediately below the mill is said to have 
been formerly changed by a large beaver dam, which those industrious 
animals had erected near the foot of Mr. Underbill's garden. Beaver 
Pond lies directly north of the mill. Beavers were once very common 
on the Bronx and neighboring streams, and afford an excellent example 
of animals not only sociable by dwelling near each other, but by joining 
in a work which was for the benefit of the community. Water was as 
needful for the Beaver as for the miller; and it is a very curious fact that 
long before miller's ever invented dams, or before men ever learned to 
grind corn, the beaver knew how to make a dam and to insure itself a 
constant supply of water. The dam was by no means placed at random 
in the stream, just where a few logs may have happened to lodge — but 
it was set exactly where it was wanted, and it was made so as to suit 
the force of the current ; in those places where the stream runs slowly 
the dam was carried straight across the river, but in those where the 
water had much power the barrier was made in a convex shape so as to 
resist the force of the rushing water. The power of the stream could, 
therefore, always be inferred from the shape of the dam which the beav- 
ers had built across it. Some of these structures were of great size, 
measuring two or three hundred yards in length and ten or twelve 
feet in thickness, and their form exactly corresponded with the force 
of the stream. They made their houses close to the water and 
communicated with them by means of subterranean passages, one 
entrance of which passed into the house, or lodge — as it was techni- 
cally named — and the other into the water, so far below the sur- 
face that it could not be closed by ice. The " lodges " were nearly 
circular in form, and closely resembled the well-known snow houses of 
the Esquimaux ; being domed, and about half as high as they were wide, 
the average height being three feet, and the diameter six or seven feet. 
They were so thick and well lined that, during severe frosts, they were 
nearly as hard as solid stone."" The last beaver seen in this vicinity 
was in the summer of 1790. 

Vast quantities of trout, roach, suckers and other fresh water fish, are 
bred yearly in the Bronx. 

In 1825 Canvas White, Esq., engineer, employed by the New York 

Water Works' Company, reported to the directors of that corporation, 

that he would recommend taking the waters of the Bronx at Underbill's 

Bridge, estimating that 9,100,000 gallons of water might be delivered in 

a Harper's New Monthly Magazine. 


the city daily, and that the whole expense would not exceed $1,450,000.° 

The mill and adjoining property, at an early period, belonged to the 
late Lancaster Underhill,who lived to the remarkable age of 98. Through- 
out the trying period of the Revolution, this individual resided on his 
farm, and appears to have suffered severely both in person and estate. 
During many a severe winter night he lay concealed beneath the body 
of an ox cart — which he had taken the precaution to cover with hay — 
and on each returning day blessed his good fortune that his house had 
escaped the flames. Near the mill is located the Bronxville Railroad 
depot, distant about four and a half miles south of White Plains, and 
eight from New York. The agent at this station (for nearly a quarter 
of a century) is Mr. Lancaster Underhill, the son of the late Lawrence 
Underhill a younger son of Lancaster Underhill, a former proprietor of 
most of the adjoining lands. The Dutch Reformed Church at Bronx- 
ville was erected in 1 840, on land given by the late Rev. Robert Bolton, 
a former pastor of this parish, then owner of the Pond Field property. 
The church was incorporated. 

Upon the Long Reach, in this town, are situated the farms and resi- 
dences of John Townsend, Esq., (former sheriff of the county, and sen- 
ator for the second district in 182 1,) Alexander Pirnie, Mr. Headly, 
Alexander Masterton, Abijah Morgan, Charles Morgan, and Mr. Pinck- 
ney, &c. 

The whole of this elevated district commands extensive views of the 
Sound and surrounding country. In the immediate vicinity stands Mar- 
ble Hall, the site of which is celebrated in our Revolutionary annals. 

From the petition of Jonathan Ward (one of the former proprietors of 
this place) to Congress in 1825, we learn, 'that at the commencement 
of the Revolutionary war, Stephen Ward (the petitioner's father) resided 
in Eastchester, and county of Westchester, seven miles south of White 
Plains; that the British troops took possession of the city of New York 
and the southern part of the county of Westchester, in the autumn of 
1776; that in consequence of which, the said Stephen Ward left his 
residence, consisting of a large and valuable dwelling, barn, and sundry 
other buildings; that between this period and the autumn of 1778, those 
buildings were occupied, a large portion of time, by the American troops, 
at which place there were several engagements between them and the 
British; that in November, 1778, a large body of the British forces, com- 
manded by General Tryon, made an excursion as far as Ward's house, 
and, by the General's orders, totally destroyed, by a fire, the buildings, 
with considerable other property." 2 * 

a Corporation Doc. 

b Amer. Slate Papers, No. cccclxv, 654. See Sinicoe's Mil. Journal, p. 92. 



In the Spring of 1776, Captain Archibald Campbell, with a strong 
force of the enemy, surprised the Continental guard (under the command 
of Captain Delavan) stationed at Ward's house. After an offer of sur- 
render had been made by the Americans, a shot was fired from one of 
the windows (by Lieut. Paddock) which, unfortunately, killed Captain 
Campbell. The British, seeing their commander fall, instantly forced 
the house, and, no resistance being made, revenged his death by killing 
upwards of twenty on the stairs and in the adjoining rooms; a few effec- 
ted their escape by jumping out of the back windows. The dead who 
fell upon this occasion, were interred among the locusts on the west side 
of the road. 

John Dibble, on the 3d of Nov. 1844, (one of the American soldiers 
who took an active part in this affair) thus relates the circumstances at- 
tending the surprisal in 1776: — "I was at the attack made upon Ward's 
house by Major Campbell. In the morning of that day we went down 
to William's Bridge, on a scout to cover a foraging party consisting of 
five or six teams. Our intention being to forage in the vicinity of Morris- 
ania, and return to Eastchester in the evening. The enemy came up 
from King's Bridge to oppose us, and we fought them across the river 
(Bronx) all day long until the teams returned. We numbered about 
eighty strong, forty accompanying the teams, while the rest remained to 
oppose the enemy. The British were about fifty strong and had a fort 
at the bridge. It was night before we returned to Ward's house. Cap- 
tain Samuel Delavan commanded us, and he was saved that night in con- 
sequence of wearing a red coat, thus passing for a British officer. The 
enemy approached Ward's house from the west side of the road. A sen- 
tinel was posted near, or perhaps in the road, who challenged the British. 
The latter rushed up to the house, and soon surrounded it. Captain 
Noah Bouton came to the door and asked for quarter, saying they were 
all desirous to surrender; but Major Campbell called out "Fire away 

boys kill all the d d rebels you can." Bouton thereupon discharged 

his musket, and shot Campbell through the body who fell dead at his 
feet. There were about two hundred Americans in the house who all 
escaped except twenty-seven who were taken prisoners, and six who were 
killed. The British had eight killed. I effected my escape by jumping 
out of a window on the north side of the house and soon after encoun- 
tered a company of Americans advancing, I gladly joined them and re- 
turned to the fight. On reaching the house we found the enemy firing 
into the windows. Posting ourselves behind a stone wall we attacked 
them, but they far outnumbered us ; and out-flanked, we were compelled 
to retreat. We retired that night some two miles off, and the next day 


returned and buried the dead at Ward's house. On the succeeding day 
we retreated as far as North Castle, and about a week after were ordered 
to White Plains where we remained until discharged. 06 The dead who 
fell on this occasion were interred in a beautiful locust grove west of 
the house and directly in the rear of the barn on the opposite side of the 
post-road leading to White Plains. John Williams of the County House, 
aged 93, Oct. 17th, 1844, says: "I remember when Colonel Simcoe was 
up with a party and burnt Ward's house. They took off all the siding 
of the building, together with the doors, windows and shutters, &x., and 
transported the same to King's bridge to build barracks for the troops, 
after which they set fire to the house and burnt it down." 6 

The Hon. Stephen Ward, who occupied this property prior to the 
Revolution, (his dwelling house standing directly on the site of the pres- 
ent Marble Hall, and closely resembling it in all its proportions), was 
the son of Edmund Ward, of Eastchester, for many years a member of 
the Colonial Assembly, and grandson of Edmund Ward, of Fairfield, 
Connecticut, who removed to Eastchester about the latter period of the 
17th century. In 1700 the inhabitants of this town granted to Edmund 
Ward fifty acres of land, in consideration that he pay the Indians for 
the same. These lands were situated on the Long Reach, for the name 
of Edward Ward occurs in the Long Reach patent granted to William 
Peartree and others, A. D., 1708. 

The Wards of Eastchester descend from the ancient family of that 
name formerly seated at Goileston and Homesfield, in the County of 
Suffolk, England, in 1593, who claimed to represent William de la 
Ward who flourished temp. Henry II, n 54-1 189. Of this family was 
Andrew Ward, a native of Suffolk County, who emigrated to New 
England in 1630. He was a freeman of Watertown, Mass., and accom- 
panied the first settlers to Connecticut, and was elected magistrate in 
1636. He subsequently removed with the Rev. Richard Denton to 
Hempstead, Long Island, in 1643, and became a resident of Fairfield 
in 1649. His son was the grandfather of the former proprietor of the 
Somerville estate. 

The Honorable Stephen Ward, above mentioned, was for many years 
a judge of the county, and a firm patriot throughout the Revolution. 
At an early period he appears to have been proscribed by the loyalist 
party, and a bounty set upon his head. 

a McDonald MSS. in possession of George n. Moore, of N. Y. Hist. Soc. 

6 Ditto. Prince Gedney or White Plains, 02 years of age in Oct. is44, says, that Elijah 
Haines, a private in the Queen's Rangers, was tailed in the attack upon Wani's house. His 
sous were Bartholomew, 'flics., Jas. &, Elijah Haines. 

To face page 254, vol- 


Arms: — Az. a cross, patonce, or. Crest : — A Wolf's head, erased, or. Motto: — Non nobis solum. 

Andrew Ward, of Watertown, Mass., freeman, 1634, accompanied the first settlers to Connecticut, = 

and was elected a magistrate in 1636 ; removed to Long Island, in 1643 ; a resident of Fairfield, I 
Conn., In 1649. 

Edmund Ward, of Fairfield, Conn., re-, 
moved to Eastchester ; will dated June» 
1712. Surrogate's office, No. 7, 111. 

Edmund Ward, member of tlie = Phoebe Sands 
Colonial Assembly; will dated I 
12th Feb., 1731. Surrogate's 
Eec No 11, 270. 

William Ward, of Connecticut, 
ancestor of the Wards of Litch- 

Richard of Westchester = Mary 

Ada = Isaac Lawrence 

Edmund, of Eastchester, to whom ^Phoebe 
his father bequeathed a silver | Fow,er 
hilted sword ; ob. 1605. 

Hon. Stephen, Judge of the =Ruth Gedney, 
County of Westchester, nat. I nat. Aug. 12, 1730, 
Feb. 27, 1730, ob. Dec. 8, 1797. ob. May 2S, 1809. 

2.John a. William 

4.Moses =: . . 

ri. Elijah 6.Richard_.. 

Srephen = Mary Griffin Charles _Mary 
m. Jan. I Pell 

l.Ollver 4.Stephen l.Phoebe 
2.Willlam S.John 2. Miriam 
3.Moses O.Augustus H. 

nat. | Tomp- 

1 kins 

Stephen, nat. 

April 8, 1787. 

"hlllp Pell, Jeffer- 
son County, N. Y. 


rati = Benj. 


()]onanna = Wood 


Bartholomew ^Elizabeth Jonathan^Sarah 
met Surr. of 

Co., nat. 
Sept. 21, 
176S, ob 
Sept. 28, 1842. I 

nat. id 

Richard = I>cliorah 
nat. 1st Brlggs 

17TU, m. 
Mar. 6, 
2S Mav. 

Jasper _Ann 


ob. 4, 


U s * 

?j» John of_g 

Caleb T. Ward, 
of Staten 

Boonett, nat. 

July 18, 1795, 

ob. 8 Jan., 


Mary, nat. 
May, 1801, 

ob. 21 
May, 1 sir,. 


James H. 
nat. Sept. 
12, 1S25. 

rc g. E'chester, 

£ mas 

"a will dated 
SS 1754. Snr. 
- > Rec. fol. 
§■■§. 19,102. 


P ?i 

S £ "^S 12 Nov., 
B IB 1T48. 

Charles, nat. April 11th, 1S02, ob. Sally Ann, nat. June lutb, 1S00, ob. 

Rev. John W 

Sylvester, S. H. 

nat. 10th 
Aug., 1T5G, 
ob. 14, Feb., 

Moses, nat._ Elizabeth John, nat. = Sarah James, nat. = Esther Thomas, nat 
JuneSd, Townsend 26th June, Morgan 2lst April, Fowler 22d March, 
1774. 1T7S. 1780,ob.28 1785, Ob. S. p. 
Aug., 1838. 

Elijah, nat. 
Jime 9, 1789, 
of Western 
New York. 

Isaac, nat. Daniel, nat. 
16th March, 31st March, 
1794, 1796. 

Anu, nat. = Townsentl 
26th Feb., 

Mwgaret = David Morgan 
nat. 16tli 
June, 1787 

Ilester, nat.. = Poter Boyd 
19th Augnst, 


Maltha, nal 
Sept. 10th, 

Moses. of=Ann, da. of 
Slug-Sing I Job Sher- 

Philip, William = . 

Thomas _l-... 

I 2 Oakley 

Israel = Sarah 
I Russell 

Samuel = Mary Purdy Nancy = Stephen Archer 

Phoebe ..William Hunter 

Isaac Abljah Nathaniel ^Hester MaJ. Gen. Fiances^ James Sally = Will Thomas Mary^G Luyster 

I Brower Aaron of Pugs- Ann Car- 

, Sing-Sing ley penter. 

Klizitbelh N';ilh;illM'l Series 

l'lui-lic .lunifs Miller 

l,ii/.;Liiriii Levi Slmie Rebecca = Dr. Scribner 

William Griffln Margaret U. Walworth 
imt.l'Vii22,'.7sa. ; nat. May 16,1797, 

M h.i' , .'l..,ls'J.> nli. Nov. VI. 1S7U 

l_John Betts S.Hetty Maria = 01iver Delaucy Ward 

Samuel Nancy Moses William Nathaniel Elmira Hannah Marlah Frances. Ward Carpenter Catherine Harriet 

William „JullaG. Tyng l.Mary G. 2. Emily ci. Rosalie 4 Harriet 


The following epitaph is inscribed on his tombstone in Eastchester 

church yard: 


memory of 


who died 8th December., 1797, 

Aged 67 Years, 9 Months and 17 Days. 

Sons of America ! 
Mourn for your country, she has lost a friend 
Who did her rights and liberties defend. 
May rising patriots keep those rights secure, 
And hand them down to latest ages pure. 
Mourn too, ye friends and relatives who knew 
His worth, his kindness, and his love to you. 
But duty bids us all resign, and say, 
Thy will be done who gave and took away. 

By his wife, Ruth Gedney, the Hon. Stephen Ward left issue eight sons 
and four daughters ; the fourth son was the late Jonathan Ward, sur- 
rogate of the county of Westchester, and a delegate to the convention 
that framed the late constitution of this State in 1812 : also a member 
of State Senate in 1806. 

In the vicinity of Marble Hall are situated the two valuable marble 
quarries now owned by John M. Masterton, late supervisor of the town. 
The former supplied the material for the construction of the New York 
and New Orleans Custom Houses and the City Hall, Brooklyn. 

The Winter Hill burying ground just west of Marble Hall, contains 
some ancient memorials to the Haiden or Hadens and Hunts. One of 
the headstones is inscribed: "S. 1 7 1 9 ; " another "Mary Hoden, deceased 
March ye 10th, 1731." William Haiden was one of the first patentees 
of this town in 1664-5. 

Upon the eastern side of Long Reach lies the estate of the late James 
Somerville, Esq., now owned by James Somerville, for a long period 
one of the Associate Judges of the county and a well known and 
respected freeholder in this town. His father was Archibald Somerville, 
M. D., of Melrose, Roxburgshire, Scotland (whose family originally came 
from Berwickshire) a lineal descendant of Sir Gualter de Somerville, 
Lord of Wicknour, one of the companions of the Norman conqueror. 
His brother was the late Archibald Somerville who succeeded to this 
estate and left a daughter. 

The Somerville property formerly belonged to Daniel Williams, a 
native of the town of Bedford in this county, and was given him by the 
State of New York, upon the 16th of June, 1783, " for and in considera- 
tion of the services of David Williams of Cortlandt manor, in the county 


of Westchester, hath rendered his country in apprehending and securing 
the British deputy adjutant general, Major John Andre who was return- 
ing to New York, after having, in the character of a spy, concerted 
measures with the infamous Benedict Arnold, then commanding at the 
posts in the Highlands, for betraying the said posts into the hands of the 
enemy, and for his virtue in refusing a large sum of money offered by 
the said Major Andre as a bribe to permit him to escape, &c, and con- 
sisted of all that certain tract or parcel of land situate in the town of 
Eastchester, late in the possession of Edmund Ward, amounting to 252^ 
acres. a 

David Williams subsequently removed from South Salem, or Cort- 
landt's manor, to Livingstonville, in Schoharie county, New York, where 
he bought a farm of General Daniel Shays, and resided upon it until 
his death, August 2d, 183 1. He left a widow, 4 sons and 3 daughters. 
He was the object of much regard, from the interesting historical event 
with which his name is associated; and the year before his death he be- 
came the guest of the city of New York. The. bones of Williams have 
been recently removed from Livingstonville, Schoharie county, to Ren- 
selaerville, Albany County, where it is proposed to erect a monument 
to his memory. This is only doing justice to the good man's character; 
for his two companions, Paulding and Van Wart, have long ago been 
honored by a grateful public in the erection of monuments to their mem- 

Edmund Ward, the former owner of the Somerville estate, was the 
only brother of the Hon. Stephen Ward. During the Revolution, Ed- 
mund appears to have sided with the loyalists, for which he lost his 
property under the confiscation act of 1782. His second son, John 
Ward, was an officer in the Loyal American regiment, " and entered 
(remarks Sabine) the military service of the Crown as early as 1776. 
During the war he was frequently in battle. The Loyal Americans 
went to New Brunswick, in 1783; and when in the course of that year 
the corps was disbanded, he settled at St. John as a merchant. He 
filled various public stations, and for many years enjoyed the appellation 
of " the father of the city." At the time of his decease, he was not only 
the senior magistrate of the city and county of St. John, but the oldest 
merchant and half-pay officer in New Brunswick. Mr. Ward was a 
gentleman of noble and venerable appearance. He died in 1846, in 
the ninety-third year of his age. His remains were taken to Trinity 
church, "where the impressive funeral service of the Church of Eng- 
land was read, and were subsequently interred in the new burial ground, 

a Abstract of Sales of Confiscated Estates, 138. 



followed to the grave by one of the largest and most respectable funeral 
processions ever seen in this city ; including, in distinct bodies, the jus- 
tices of the peace for the city and county of St. John, the Common 
Council of the city, headed by his worship the Mayor, and his honor the 
Recorder, the members of the legal profession, (the barristers being in 
their gowns), at the head of whom was his honor Mr. Justice Carter, 
supported by the Honorable the Attorney General and Solicitor Gene- 
ral, the Grand Jury for the city and county, then attending the Circuit 
Court, and the officers and men of the New Brunswick regiment of 
artillery of St. John, as well as a vast concourse of other citizens, all 
anxious to pay the last sad tribute of respect to one who was so inti- 
mately associated with the early history of the country, &c." a 

In the northern part of this town are situated the residences of the 
late James Morgan 6 and William Silliman, Esq. Immediately north of 
the latter stood the old Tredwell mansion, the headquarters of Lord 
Howe, when the British army lay encamped in the vicinity. c 

The farm of Mr. John Bates completes the northern boundary of this 

Upon Hutchinson's River are situated the saw and grist mills of John 
Tompkins and Stephen Anderson. The latter gentleman, besides his 
mill, carries on a large rope and cord factory. 

The general surface of Eastchester is hilly and somewhat stony, the 
soil chiefly consisting of a fertile loam ; there is, however, a good pro- 
portion of interval and meadow land upon the rivers. The town is well 
watered throughout, both by springs and streams. The growth of wood 
and timber resembles that of other towns in general ; oak of various 
kinds, hickory, chestnut, white wood, ash, walnut and pine, &c. 

"Among the most important minerals" of Eastchester ("in an eco- 
nomical point of view), may be ranked the dolomitic marble, d which oc- 
curs abundantly in various places, and is extensively employed as a 
building material. Pyroxene occurs every where in the dolomite." e 

a Sabine's Hist, of Amer. Loyalists, 673. 
b See genealogy. 

c From Joan Tredwell this property passed to the late Capt. Joseph Skinner, who died 
October 20, 1836, aged 70 years. 
d Dolomite, magnesian carbonate of lime, 
e Geological survey of the State, 1840. 




In the Dutch language Grein, (Grain) burgh (borough or town,) liter- 
ally the Grain town. In some of the early deeds called "Lawrence's 
Plantation," a name undoubtedly derived from one of its original pro- 

At the period of the Dutch discovery, this town formed a part of the 
Indian territory of Wikagyl as laid down in the Dutch caste of 1614. 

The aboriginal name of the town itself was Weckquaskeck; after- 
wards varied to Weckqucesquesck and Wiequceshook; in pure Algonquin, 
Weec-quas-guck, the place of the bark kettle."' Opposite Tappaan, (says 
De Vries, in 1640,) lies a place called Wickquaesqueeck. 

Van Trenhoven describing the place remarks: " Wichquaesqueek, on 
the North River, five (twenty) miles above New Amsterdam, is a right 
good and suitable land for cultivation; contains considerable maize land, 
which the Indians planted, rising from the shore. In the interior the 
country is flat and mostly even, very abundantly watered with small 
streams and running fountains. This land is situate between two 
rivulets called Sintsinck and Armonck, lying between the East and 
North Rivers. " Bedenkinge over het aenvaerden van de landeryen in 
N. Nederlant." 6 

To a large current of water which descends through the village of 
Dobb's Ferry and falls into the Hudson at the upper landing, the 

a Sdi ;. »r Prop. N. Y. Hist Soc. 1844. In the Delaware Language Wl-qui-jeefc, 

Signifies the head of a creek or run. See Essay of Delaware Indian and English spelling book 
for the use of the schools of the Christian Indians on Muskingum River, by'Dan'l Leisberger. 
Miss, among Western Indinas, Phila., 1776. 

b O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 240. 



Indians gave the name of Weghqueghe or Wysquaqua, by the English 
called afterwards Wickers creek or William Portugues creek. 

At the mouth of this beautiful stream the powerful tribe of the Wich- 
quaesqueeks, had erected a village which was standing in the time of 
Nicholas Johannes Visschers, (Nicholas John Visschers,) for in his map 
of Novum Belgium, published at Amsterdam, 1659,* he calls it Wickqu- 
askek, a name which was also applied to the surrounding lands as already 
shown. The site of this ancient village can still be traced on the 
neighboring banks by the numerous " Indian shell beds" which in some 
places are found to vary from two to three feet in depth. Another 
Mohegan village occupied the site of Tarrytown, called in the Algonquin, 
"Alipkonck," "Anneebikong ? " place of leaves or " rich foliage," 6 "Above 
Weckquaskeck, says Schoolcraft, was the village of Alipkonck, that is 
" a place of elms." 

On the map of "Novum Belgium" it is also styled Alipconck, which 
clearly shows it was standing in 1659. 

From the bark of the white elm (ulmus Americana) the Indian manu- 
factured his light canoe. d This tree is also celebrated for the elegance of 
its foliage. 

As early as 1644 there were three entrenched castles belonging to the 
Weckquaskecks. e One of these strong-holds was still remaining in 1663, 
and garrisoned with eighty warriors. 

The first sachem of Weckquaskeck, of whom we have any account, 
was Mongockonone, who appeared in behalf of this place, A. D. 1644, 
at Fort Amsterdam. 

This chief must have held his authority under the high sachem of the 
Mohegans, for on the 30th of August, 1645, we find Aepjen, chief sachem 
of the Mohegans, appearing in behalf of Wappinx, and Weckquaskeck, 
Sint Sincks and Kicktawom, before the Director General and Council at 
Fort Amsterdam/ 

It was Cushawashet or Wequashcook, whose original name was prob- 
ably Wequashcuk, a Nehantee sagamore who assisted Uncas in guiding 

a See copy of Visscher's map engraved by Thomas Starling, Wilmington Square, London, 
1833 ; from the original, in the possession of S. Converse, New York. 

6 Schoolcraft's Ethnology. Oneota. 

c Proceedings of N. Y. His. Soc. 1844. 

d These canoes of bark were sewed together with thongs made from the dry sinews of the 
deer. One of them was capable of holding from twelve to fourteen men, or one hundred and 
fifty bushels of corn. 

e O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N: 299. An old Indian who had been captured by the Dutch at or 
near Greenwich, Conn., in 1643 " promised to lead them to Wetquescheck which consisted of 
three castles; sixty-five men were dispatched under Lieut. Baxter and Pieter Cock, who found 
them empty— though thirty Indians could have stood against two hundred soldiers, inasmuch 
as they were constructed of plank five inches thick, nine feet high and braced around with 
thick bark full of fort holes. Our pepole burnt two, reserving the third for a retreat." Journal 
of New Netherland, Doc. Hist, of N. Y., vol. iv. p. 15. 

/ N. Y. Hist. Coll., 2d series, vol., 2T6. 


Capt. Mason and his force against the ill-fated Pequot Fort Mystic, 6th 
June, 1637. 

Eighteen years later Oratam, chief of Hackinkiskacky, summoned the 
chiefs of Weckquaskeck before the Council. Upon the death of Mon- 
gockonone, (who doubtless fell in one of those Indian wars so frequent 
in that stormy period,) Poumpahowhelbsheln appears to have inherited 
the chieftainship. This individual sanctioned the sale of lands called 
Ubiequaeshook, to Petrus Stuyvesant, A.D. 1649." 

The chief of Weckquaskeck in the year 1660, was Ackhongh, who is 
called the chief and counsellor of Weckquaskeck. 

In 1663 we have the names of Toawenare, sachem of the same place, 
and Souwenaro his brother. Also the same year occurs the name of • 
Schowmenarack. In 1680 the chiefs were Weskora, or Weskomen, and 
Goharius his brother. And one year later Wessickenaiuw, sachem of 
Weckquaskeck, and Conarhanded his brother. 

The descendants of the aboriginal proprietors appear to have been 
very numerous in this town, AD. 1731, nearly half a century after their 
last sale to Frederick Philips. 

In 1746 there were two Indian villages situated in the vicinity of 
Hart's corners; one stood on the farm of Mr. James McChain, whilst 
the second crowned the summit of Indian Hill, the property of Mr. 
John Tompkins. 

Even as late as 1755 the banks of the Hudson were thickly populated 
by the Indians, particularly south of Tarrytown in the vicinity of Mr. 
James Ackers. 

The cruel murder of an aged warrior of this town, Sept., A. D. 1627, 
plunged the Dutch colony into a long series of wars. It appears that 
"one of the neighboring tribe of Wickwasqueeck Indians had come, 
with his nephew and another of his nation, to the Dutch fort to sell some 
beaver skins. He was met, unfortunately, by three of Minuit's farm ser- 
vants, who not only rifled the Indian of his property but murdered him 
in cold blood. 

The nephew of the unfortunate man, who was then a mere youth, 
was a witness to this outrage. He returned home brooding over 
the wrong, and vowed to take vengence when he should arrive at 
the years of manhood; a vow he too faithfully fulfilled years afterwards, 
the Dutch having neglected to expiate the crime by a suitable present 

a Pennekeck, sachem in Achtercol, stated on the 16th of July, 1649, (before the Director 
and Council,) that the tribe named Raritans, residing before at Wecquaskeck, had no sachem, 
&C. Alb. Rec. vol. vii, 252. 


of wampum, in conformity with the customs of the red men, or punish 
the murderers, as justice and good policy demanded."" 

Sept. A. D. 1 641, the boy had now attained the age of manhood. 
"His uncle's spirit was still unappeased — his murder was unavenged. 
His voice was heard in the roaring of the storm — in the rustle of the 
leaves — in the sighing of the winds ; and full of the conviction that that 
spirit could not find rest until vengeance should be had, the young 
Weckquaeskeeck sought for a victim to offer to the manes of the dead. 
Shrouding his evil purpose under the cloak of a friendly or business visit, 
he called at the house of one Claes Cornelisz Smits, the 'raad-maker,' an 
aged settler resident on the west side of the river, under pretence of 
making some purchases. The old man suspecting no harm, (for the 
Indian had been in the habit of working for his son,) set some food be- 
fore him, and proceeded to get from a chest, in which it lay, the cloth 
which the other wished to purchase. The moment he stooped, the sav- 
age seized an axe, struck him dead, and then withdrew, having rifled the 
house of all its contents. a 

" This aggression on an old and helpless man excited, when it became 
known, considerable feeling at Fort Amsterdam." 6 " Director Kieft 
promptly demanded satisfaction from the chief" of the Weckquaskecks. 
" But the sachem," who was doubtless Mongockonone, " refused to 
make any atonement. He was sorry that twenty Christians had not 
been immolated; the Indian had but avenged, after the manner of his 
race, the murder of a relative whom the Dutch had slain nearly twenty 
years before. On the receipt of this answer, armed parties were sent 
out to retaliate ; but they returned, having effected nothing."^ 

Aug. 29, 1 641, it was proposed to wait "until the hunting season 
when it was suggested that two expeditions should be got up; one to 
land in the neighborhood of the ' Archipelago,' or Norwalk Island — the 
other, at Weckquaskeck." 

Notwithstanding the impatience of Kieft to attack the Weckquas- 
kecks, he could not obtain the consent of his council until Feb. 18, 
1642. Having now received their sanction, " he ordered Hendrick 
Van Dyck, ensign in the Company's service, who had been already over 

a O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 105. On the 29th of August, 1641, the following proposals 
were made by the Director General and Council to the heads of families residing at and near 
New Amsterdam : " When the Indian warriors are absent on their hunting expeditions, then 
we may divide ourselves into two parties, one to land at Rapels and the other at Weckquaes- 
keeck and take them by surprise on both sides. The Director to supply as many negroes as 
he can spare, and arm them with a tommahawk and small half pike." Valentine's Manual, 
1865, p. 53T. 

b O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 240, 1. 

c O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 241. Journal van Nieuw Nederlandt, Hoi. Doc. v. 314. De 
Vries corroborates the statements in the text. 

d O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 242. 


two years stationed at New Amsterdam, to proceed with a force of eighty 
men against the Weckquaskecks, to execute summary vengeance upon 
that tribe, with fire and sword." 

To ensure complete success, the expedition was placed under the di 
rection of a trusty guide, who professed to be intimately acquainted with 
the homes and haunts of the. savages. This party started in the fore 
part of March, and pushed actively forward towards the Indian village; 
but fortune favored the red man. The night set in clouded and dark ; 
and when the expedition reached Armeperahin, a Van Dyck called a 
halt, notwithstanding the entreaties of his men to push on, ere the 
savages should have warning of their approach. An hour and a half 
was thus lost ; the guide then missed his way, whereupon Van Dyck lost 
temper, and made a retrograde movement to Fort Amsterdam, whither 
he returned without having accomplished the object for which he had 
been detailed. The expedition, however, was not without its effect. 
The Indians had observed, by the trail of the white men, how narrowly 
they had escaped destruction ; and therefore immediately sued for peace, 
which Cornelis van Tienhoven concluded with them, in the course of 
the spring" of 1642, "at the house of a settler named Jonas Bronk, 
who resided on a river to which he gave his name, situated east of 
Yonkers, in the present county of Westchester." 

One of the conditions of the above treaty was the surrender of the 
murderer of Clas Smits, dead or alive ; a condition however which was 
never fulfilled, owing either to unwillingness or inability on the part of 
the Indians." 6 

"Feb. 7th, 1642, winter came; and while the earth was yet burried 
in snow, a party of armed Mohawks, some eighty or ninety in number, 
made a descent upon the Weckquaskecks and Tappaen Indians, for the 
purpose of levying tribute." 

" At the approach of these formidable warriors of a braver Huron 
race, the more numerous but cowering Algonquins crowded together in 
despair, begging assistance of the Dutch. Kieft seized the moment for 
an exterminating massacre. In vain was it fortold that the ruin would 
light upon the Dutch themselves. In the stillness of a dark winter's 
night, the soldiers at the fort, joined by freebooters from Dutch priva- 
teers, and led by a guide who knew every by-path and nook where the 

a Armeperahin, supposed to be the west branch of the Sprain river, which flows in the rear 
of Dobb'a Perry. 

b O'Callaghan's Hist N. N. p. 249, 50. 

c O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 264.—" I have been told," says Coldon, " by old men in New 
England, who n member the time when the Mohawks made war on their Indians, that as soon 
as a single MohawS was discovered in the country, these Indians raised a cry from hill to hill, 
' A Mohawk ! a Mohawk !' upon which they all fled like sheep before wolves, without attempt- 
ing to make the least resistance, whatever odds were on their side," &c. — Colden's Mint. Five 
Hatiuns, 3, 4. 


savages nestled, crossed the Hudson," (into Pavonia, New Jersey, whither 
the unsuspecting Weckquaskecks and Tappaens had fled from Man- 
hattan,) "for the purpose of destruction. The naked and unsuspecting 
tribes could offer little resistance ; the noise of musketry mingled with 
the yell of the victims. Nearly a hundred perished in the carnage. 
Day-break did not end its horrors; men might be seen, mangled and 
helpless, suffering from cold and hunger ; children were tossed into the 
stream, and as their parents plunged to their rescue, the soldiers pre- 
vented their landing, that both child and parent might drown."" Be- 
side these, thirty more were murdered at Corlaers Hook, on Manhattan 
Island, while sunk in repose. 

"This unjustifiable outrage led to consequences almost fatal to 
the Dutch. It estranged the Long Island Indians, the warmest of their 
friends, who now formed an alliance with the River Indians, whose hate 
knew no bounds when they discovered that it was the Dutch, and not 
the Mohawks, who had attacked them at Pavonia and Corlaers Hook. 
The tomahawk, the fire-brand, and scalping knife, were clutched with all 
the ferocity of phrensy, and the war-whoop rang from the Raritan to the 
Connecticut, for eleven tribes of savages proclaimed open war against 
the Dutch. Every settler on whom they laid hands was murdered — • 
women and children dragged into captivity ; and though the settlements 
around Fort Amsterdam extended, at this period, thirty English miles to 
the east, and twenty-one to the north and south, the enemy burned the 
dwellings, desolated the farms and farm-houses, killed the cattle, de- 
stroyed the crops of grain, hay, and tobacco, laid waste the country 
all around and drove the settlers, panic-stricken, into Fort Amsterdam. 
'Mine eyes saw the flames of their towns,' says Roger Williams, 'the 
frights and hurries of men, women and children, and the present re- 
moval of all that could to Holland." b " The assassins," says Bancroft, "were 
compelled to desire a peace, which was covenanted with the River 
Indians the 2 2d of April, 1643." This was principally brought about 
by the Dutch Patroon de Vries, and not by Roger Williams, as some of 
the New England historians claim - a 

This peace proved unsatisfactory, for we find the Indians again taking, 
up arms. 

15th Sept., 1643, it was resolved by the Dutch to renew the war, 
either by force or stratagem, against the River Indians. d 

"A. D. 1644, some of the Stamford people having surprised an 

a Bancroft's Hist. U. S. ii. 289. 90. 

b O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 270. Rhode Island Hist. Rec. ill. 156. 

c O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. p. 276. note. 

d O'Callaghan's Hist. p. 285. 


Indian village and taken some prisoners ; one of them an old man, pro- 
posed to the Dutch, in hopes of obtaining a reward, "to lead any of their 
troops against the Weckquaesqueecks, who are said to be entrenched in 
three castles, at the north. Lieutenant Baxter and Sergeant Cock were, 
thereupon, ordered to proceed under the guidance of this old man, with 
sixty-five men against this tribe. But this party was in no way more 
fortunate than those which had already gone on similar expeditions. 
They found the castles of the Indians formidable in construction, and 
well adapted for defence. They were built of five inch plank, nine feet 
high, and bound around with thick beams, and studded with port holes. 
Though it was calculated that thirty Indians could hold out, in one of 
these, against two hundred soldiers — strange to tell, the whole were found 
uninhabited. The Dutch, thereupon, burnt two of these strongholds 
reserving the third as a point to retreat to, in case of necessity. From 
this place they next marched between thirty and forty miles further, but 
discovered nothing save a few huts."* 

April 6, 1644, "The spring made our river Indians again anxious for 
peace, which was brought about by the intervention of Capt. John Un- 
derbill. " Mamaranack, chief of the Indians residing on the Kicktawano 
or Croton River; Mongockonone, Pappenoharrow, from the Weckque- 
esqueecks and Nochpeem ; and the Wappings from Stamford, presented 
themselves, in a few days, at Fort Amsterdam ; and having pledged 
themselves, that they should not henceforth commit any injury, whatever 
on the inhabitants of New Netherland, their cattle and houses, nor show 
themselves except in a canoe, before Fort Amsterdam, should the Dutch 
be at war with any of the Manhattan tribes ; and having further promised 
to deliver up Pacham, the chief of the Tamkitekes, (who resided in the 
rear of Sing Sing,) peace was concluded between them and the Dutch; 
who promised, on their part, not molest them in way." & 

The Fall of the same year, 1644, we find the " eight men," or council 
of the director, thus complaining to the Directors of the Dutch West 
India Company at home. 

A semblance of peace was attempted to be patched up last Spring with 
two or three tribes of savages toward the north by a stranger," whom 
we, for cause, shall not now name, without one of the Company's ser- 
vants having been present, while our principal enemies have been unmo- 
lested. This peace hath born little fruit for the common advantage and 
reputation of our lords, &c; for as soon as these savages had stowed 

a O'Callagluu's Hist. N. N, 29S. 
b O'Callaghan, p. 303. 
c Captain John Underbill. 


away their maize into holes, they began again to murder our people in 
various directions. They rove in parties continually around day and 
night, on the Island of Manhattans, slaying our folks, not a thousand 
paces from the forts; and 'tis now arrived at such a pass, that no one 
dare move a foot to fetch a stick of fire-wood, without a strong escort." 

"The Spring of 1645 brought with it, as usual, another desire for 
peace, on the part of the River Indians. This was brought about by 
Kieft and his counsellor, La Montagne. To make suitable presents 
to the Mohegans or Mahicanders in token of the ratification of this 
peace, Kieft was obliged however to borrow money from Adriaen 
vander Donck, Sheriff of Rensselaerswyck, afterwards Patroon of Colen- 
donck, (Yonkers,) and others. 6 

On the occasion of this treaty, which took place 30th August, 1645, 
"Aepjen, chief of the Mohegans, spoke for the Wappinecks, the Wech- 
quaesqueecks, the Sintsings, and the Kitchtawancks. These, with others, 
seated themselves, silent and grave, in front of Fort Amsterdam, before 
the Director General and his council, and the whole commonalty; and 
there, having religiously smoked the great calumet, concluded in ' the 
presence of the sun and ocean,' a solemn and durable peace with the 
Dutch, which both the contracting parties reciprocally bound themselves 
honorably and firmly to maintain and observe." 

The ratification of this important treaty terminated, and a re-establish- 
ment of good understanding with the natives commenced; for, on the 
14th of July, 1649, we find the Director General, Petrus Stuyvesant, 
purchasing lands in this town, in behalf of the Dutch West India Com- 

. H 

"On this day, the date underwritten, appeared before the noble Lords, the 
Director General, and the council, Megtegichkama, Oteyochgue, and Wegtakock- 
ken; the right owners of the lands lying on the North River of New Nether- 
land, on the east shore, called Wixquaeskeek, in the breadth through the woods, 
till a certain kil called Sewegruc, diverging at the East River, from thence north- 
ward and southward to a certain kil called RecJiawes, the same land lying be- 
twixt two kils, one-half woods, and betwixt the North and East Rivers ; so that 
the western half to the aforesaid is still remaining ; and the other easterly half, 
with a south and north direction, middle through the woods, the aforesaid 
owners acknowledged ; that with the consent of the chief Sachem, they have 
sold the parcel of land, and all their oystering, fishing, &c, unto the noble Lord 
Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, for, and in considera- 
tion of certain parcels of merchandize, which they acknowledge to their satis- 

a Hoi. Doc. Ill, 206, 222. 

b Vanderdodck's New Neth. N. Y. Hist. Soc. trans. (2 ser) 1st, 27 Vol. 

c O'Callaghan's Hist, of N. N., Vol. I, p. 356. 



faction to have received into their hands and power, before the passing of these 
presents, viz.: 

6 Fathom cloth for jackets. 10 Knives. 1 Gun. 

6 Ditto seawant (wampum.) 10 Harrow teeth 2 lbs. lead. 

6 Kettles. 10 Corals or beads. 2 lbs. powder. 

6 Axes. 10 Bells. 2 Cloth coats. 
6 Addices. 

In consideration of which, the before-mentioned owners do hereby the said 
land convey, transport, and give over, to the aforesaid (noble Lords the Director) 
General, and his successors, in full, true, and free ownership : To the said land, 
we the grantors, neither now nor hereafter, shall ever present any claim for our- 
selves, or our heirs and successors, desisting by these presents from all action, 
either of equity or jurisdiction, but conveying all the same to the said Director 
General and his successors, to do therewith as it may seem proper to them, with- 
out their, the grantors, or any one of them, molesting the grantee of the afore- 
said land, whether in his property or his family. It is also agreed that the most 
westerly half, just as the Lord Director pleases, shall go with this for as many 
goods as in * * * * can be paid ; and they, the grantors, promise at all 
times to induce their rulers on the North River to talk the matter over, and not 
to sell to any without the knowledge of the Lord Director General ; the grantors 
promising this transport firmly, to maintain as in equity they are bound to do. 
"Witness these presents, by them respectively signed in the Fort Amsterdam, in 
New Netherlands, this 14th day of July, A. D., 1649."" 

The mark of Ponupahan helbghelen. 


The Mark of Wegtakochken. 

The mark of 

fl$6~, Hfitcf/tt^s 

The mark of ■ 

a Alb. Eec. G. G. 222. 


The sachems of this town subsequently committed further depreda- 
tions, and probably armed several of the sixty-four war canoes that at- 
tacked and ravaged the country around Manhattan during the absence 
of Stuyvesant in 1655.* 

For on the 6th of March, 1660, we find Ackhongh, the chief and 
counsellor of Weecquaesqueeck, appearing in the city of New Amster- 
dam, before the Director General and Council, to treat for peace. 6 

On the 10th of July, 1663, during the negotiation between Connecti- 
cut and the Dutch, a furious war was raging in the neighborhood of 
Esopus. The insurgent tribes were headed by five warlike chiefs, viz. : 
Pennyraweck, Sewekenamo, Wapperonk, Caelcop and Mekarowe, who 
threatened not only the extinction of the Dutch villages, but also their 
allies, the Weeckquaesqueeck 's. In dread of the threatened invasion, we 
find the chiefs of this town repairing to New Amsterdam on the 26th 
of July, 1663. "Souwenaro, sachem of Weeckquaesqueeck, came of 
his own accord, with his brother and asserted that he was warned by a 
Wappinger Indian, that the Esopus Indians intended to come down, 
within five or six days, with forty or fifty men to kill them, with the 
Dutch of New Harlaem and other places, and those of the New Village ; 
he told them he, with his people, took therefore their flight near Har- 
laem. He notified them of it, and why they came, so that those of New 
Harlaem should not be intimidated. 

" He said, further, that he warned those at New Harlaem, and re- 
quested we would do the same to the people in that neighborhood, and 
warn those on the General's farm (Bowery). Souwenaro also stated 
that his people were only eighty strong, which could bear arms, and that 
they had, consequently, left their fort at Weeckquaesqueeck, and had 
retired into the woods to defend themselves."" 

This war with the Esopus Indians lasted till November, 1663, when a 
peace was concluded. In the Fall of the same year, Sept. 15, 1663, ap- 
peared in the fort, Schoumenarack, chief of Weeckquaesqueeck, solicit- 
ing for himself and his men to go fishing unmolested near the village of 
Harlaem, which was granted on condition that they shall not come with 
arms near the Dutch dwellings, and that it may be known, with full cer- 
tainty, that they were his savages, and not some of Esopus ; so was de- 
livered to him a seal (signet) of the Dutch Company, printed on wax, in 
small billets, which might be shown in meeting Dutchmen, on the day 
as above. 

a Bancroft's Hist. U. S. ii, p. 299. 
b Alb, Rec. xxi. p. 247. 
<c Alb. Rec. xxi, 247. 


Note. — There were delivered to him eight seals, viz. : — 

For those of Weeckquaesqueeck, whose chief is Sawwesach, four. 

To Kitchtawangh, whose chief is Currupin, four. 

Kiskingthing and Sint Sinck have no chiefs, but are considered to be- 
long to those savages.* 

On the 21st of October, 1663, we find the chiefs of Weeckquaesqueeck 
united with those of Sint Sinck and Kitchtawang, in a war with the 
Dutch. 6 The armistice of November appears to have restored tran- 
quility. During the summer of 1662, "Connecticut purchased of the 
Indians, all the lands on the seaboard as far west as the North River."" 
Thus a second time was this territory ceded by the sachems of Weec- 
quaesqueck. Upon the confiscation of the property of the Dutch West 
India Company, 15th of June, 1665, the New Netherlands passed to his 
Royal Highness, James, Duke of- York; and these lands being within 
the province of New York, formed a part of the North Riding of York- 
shire. In consequence Connecticut ceased to hold any jurisdiction. 

The next grantee under the sachems of Weecquaesqueeck, was the 
Hon. Frederick Philipse, of East Friesland, in Holland, who had emigra- 
ted to New Amsterdam at an early period. The first grant to Philipse 
occurs on the 10th of December, 1681. 


"From the Indians Cobus, Oramaghqueer, Betthunsk, Sjoghweena-men, Wen- 
raweghien, Saijgadrne and Togtquanduck, of all these lands beginning on the 
north side of a creek called Bisightick, and so ranging along said river northerly 
to the land d of the said Frederick Philipse, and thence alongst the said land, 
north-east and by east until it comes to and meets with the creek called Neppi- 
zan, if the said creek shall fall within that line, otherwise to extend no further 
than the head of the creek or kill, called Pekantico, or Pueghanduck, and thence 
southcrlv alongst said river Nippizan, if the same shall fall within the said line 
as aforesaid, or else in a direct line from the head of the said creek called Bisigh- 
tick, and from thence westerly to the head of the said creek Bisightick, and 
alongst the same to the North or Hudson's river, "« &c, &c. This purchase em- 
braced the north-west portion of the town, and a part of Mount Pleasant. It 
was attested by 

W The mark of Wessiokenaettw, sachem of Wesquaskeck, 
Witness the mark of Ci Clause the Indian./ 

a Alb. Rec. 

6 Alb. Rec. xviii, 44G. 

c Bancroft's Hist. U. S. ii, 312. 

d This refers to a former purchase. 

e Book of Pat. Alb. v. 5.4 

J This individual appears to have acted as interpreter upon this occasion. 



V The mark of Ghohariue for himself, Cobut and Toghquandtjok. 

W The mark of Wramaghaqueer. 

Z The mark of Petthunok. j 

O The mark of Sjogheveen. 

— The mark of Wearaweghein. 

I The mark of Sayjaenw. 

Here follows a schedule or particular account of the wampum and 
other goods paid by Frederick Philipse for the said land : 

10 fathom of duffils, 
10 blankets, 

8 gunns, 

7 shirts, 

1 anker of rum, 
25 lbs. of powder, 
10 bars of lead, 

2 iron pots, 

5 earthen cans, 
12 steels to strike fire, 

2 coopers' addz, 

2 half vatts of beere, 
70 fathom of wampum, 

7 pair of stockings, 

6 howes, 
12 axes, 

9 kettles, 
40 knives, 

6 brass tobacco boxes, 

6 coates, 

2 drawing knives. 

The second sale to Philipse, embraces lands situated south of the for- 
mer, bearing date the 13th of April, 1682. 


"Beginning at the south side of a creek called Bisightick, and so ranging along 
Hudson's river, southerly to a creek or fall called by the Indians Weghquegsike, 
and by the Christians called Lawrence's plantation ; and from the mouth of the 
said creek or fall, upon a due east course, to a creek called by the Indians Nip- 
piran — and by the Christians, Youncker's hill ; and from thence along the west side- 
of the said creek or kill, as the same runs to lands formerly bought." 

In presence of Emient, sachem of Siapham, 

Kicktawongh, Goharis, 

Cotstarhande, brother of Wassekanew, Teattanqtjer, 

Aramaghqueer, Wearaqtjaeghier. 

A schedule or particular of wampum and other goods paid by Fred- 
erick Philipse to the Indians, the owners and proprietors of the above 

100 fathoms of white 

12 fathom black ditto, 
12 ditto of duffills, 
12 blankets, 
12 kettles, 
10 guns, 
50 lb. of powder, 

30 barrs of lead, 
12 shirts 

12 pair of stockings, 
30 hows, 

20 boxes, 
2 ankers of rum, 

2 1-2 vatts of beere, 

3 drawing knives, 

8 fathom of stroud water 2 coopers' addz, 

cloth, 10 yearthen juggs, 

8 coates, 10 axis,* 

50 knives, 

a Book of Pat. Alb. v. 57. 


Upon the 6th of September, 1682, Frederick Philipse purchased of 
the native Indians : 


" All that tract of land situate, lying and being on the east side of Hudson's 
river, beginning on the north side of the land belonging to the Younckers kill, 
or AVepperhaem, at a great rock called by the Indians Sigghes/'and from thence 
ranging into the wood eastwardly to a creek called by the Indians Nepperha, 
and from thence along the said creek northerly till you come to the eastward of 
the head of a creek called by the Indians Weghqueghe, being the utmost bounds 
of the lands formerly bought of the Indians, &c, &c, attested by 

w&ramanhanck, esparamogh, anhook, 

Maeintighro. Mightereameok, Sakissjenooh, 


The schedule of the goods, &c, &c, paid by the grantee. 

4 guns, 6 pair of stockings , 2 ankers of rum, 

4 fathom of wampum, 10 bars of lead, 4 shirts, 

4 blankets, 3 kettles, 2 fathom of cloth, 

6 fathom of duffils, i2 lbs. of powder, 1 adze. 

1 drawing knife. & 

The last purchase made by Philipse in this town, (on the 5th of June, 
1684,) includes the land situated between the Saw Mill and Bronx river, 
viz : 


"All the tract or parcel of land, situate, lying, and being, to the eastward of 
the land of the said Frederick Philipse, between the creek called Neppiran, or 
the Younckers kill, and Bronck's river, beginning (on the north side) at the 
northerly bounds of the Younckers land, and from thence along the aforesaid 
creek Neppiran, however it runs, till you come to the most northerly bounds of 
the said Frederick Philipse's land, and from thence north-east into the woods, to 
Bronck's river, and from thence along Bronck's river so far as it runs southerly 
to the eastward of Younckers land aforesaid, and from thence with a westwardly 
line to the aforenamed Younckers kill or Neppiran, together with all the lands, 
&c, &c. 

Sepham, Arradppanint, 

Ghoharin, Kawanghis, an Indian squaw, 

Kakinsigh, Niepaok, 

Enhoak, Kewightakin, 

Teatangoom . 

a See Yonckers ; also Philipsburgh Patent. 

b Rook of Pat. Alb. v. 64. This deed includes the southern part of Greenburgh, from the 
northern line of Yonkers to Dobb's Peery. 


A schedule or particular of goods, &c, paid to the grantors. 

130 fathom of white wampum, 10 spoons, 

12 guns, 2 knives, 

14 fathom of duffils 12 pair of stockings, 

12 blankets, 15 hatches, 

8 coats, 10 hoes, 

6 kettles, • 10 earthen jugs, 

6 fathom of stroud water, 10 iron pots, 

16 shirts, 4 1-2 vatts of beere, 

25 lbs. of powder, 2 ankers of rumme, 

20 bars of lead, 2 rool3 of tobacco. a 

The above sales covered the present township of Greenburgh, and 
subsequently formed a portion of Philipsburgh manor. 

These lands remained in the Philipse family, until the attainder of 
Colonel Frederick Philipse, A. D., 1779, when they became vested by 
forfeiture in the people of this State. Under the commissioners they 
were parcelled out for small sums, to the Van Tassels, Van Warts, Odells, 
Lawrences, Posts, Archers, Harts, Ackers, Dyckmans and Requas, 
former tenants of the manor in pursuance of the act of 1784. Many of 
their descendants still occupy the patrimonial estates in fee simple. 

In the records of the Court of Sessions for this county appears the 
following memoranda: 

"March ye 2d, 1692-3, Justice Mott did sweare John, Charles and 
Johannes Yeruckson, assessors for Weekersqueeke, and Barnt Whitt, 

The earliest entry relating to town officers occurs in the old town and 
manor book, entitled " the town and manor of Philipsburgh for to keep 
the town redesstors, 1742." 

The first Tuesday in April, is chosen Abraham Martlinghs for the 
clerk of the town and manor aforesaid, at the town meeting, for chussen 
all other assessors in the town. 

In 1742, the first Tuesday in April is chosen four assessors for the 
manor of Philipsburgh, viz. : Joseph Geddenie and Gerret van Wart, 
jun. For constable and collector is chosen Jocqhem van Wart. 
Pound master is Elbert Airsse. Frederick Philipse appears to have been 
supervisor in 1752. The first independent election held in 1778, is thus 
recorded. " Being a memorandum of all the public officers appointed 

a Book of Pat. Alb. v. T9. 


and chosen at a town meeting held as usual on the manor, the 7th day 
of April, 1778, and in the second year of our independency." 

Joseph Paulding, — Supervisor. 

Joseph Requaw, — Town Clerk. 

Peter Bant, — Constable. 

Jacob Van Wart, Sen.) q f ^ p 

James Requaw, ) J 

Gersham Sherwood,) Assessors . 
Thomas Buess, > 

Within the township of Greenburgh are located several pleasant vil- 

Hastings occupies a romantic situation on the east bank of the Hud- 
son, at the mouth of a beautiful glen. The country rising above the 
margin of the river with great boldness, is luxuriantly ornamented with 
wood A steep descent leads to the village landing and hotel, from which 
extensive views are obtained of the Hudson. The winding streams that 
buries itself in the adjoining ravine, supplies valuable water privileges. 

The advantages presented by the river, combined with the healthfull- 
ness of the situation, has rendered Hastings a favorite resort for New 
York citizens during the summer season. 

The site of the present village nearly covers the old Post estate, form- 
erly owned by Peter Post, who occupied it during the revolutionary war. 
The house (a small stone edifice) is still standing. Immediately subse- 
quent to the revolution, this building was used as a tavern, and became 
celebrated as the rendezvous of cock-fighters, and hard drinkers. Since 
that period, it has been transformed into the present neat cottage. 

On the east side of Edgar's Lane, (a continuation of the Albany Post 
Road,) stands the mansion of the late Anthony Constant, Esq., formerly 
the residence of William Edgar. It is a fine wooden edifice, sur- 
rounded by rich plantations of cedar, fir and locust trees ; and com- 
mands delightful views of the river, and adjacent hills. Judge Constant 
was the son of Col. Joseph Constant, and grandson of the Rev. Silas 
Constant, of York Town. 

A. D. 1776, a skirmish took place in Edgar's Lane, between a body 
of Hessians, commanded by Lieut. Wurtz, and a troop of Sheldon's 
horse, under the following circumstances. Col. Sheldon having received 
information from his spies, that the enemy were preparing an incursion 
into this vicinity, left his quarters at New Castle, and — led by Isaac Odell, 
a trusty guide — followed the by-roads to this place, where he ascertained 


from Peter Post, that the Hessians had not yet passed. Enjoining se- 
crecy upon Post, the Colonel ambuscaded his horse in the adjoining 
cedars, which he had barely done, when the Hessians rode up and 
demanded of Post if he had seen the rebels. The Hessians, deceived 
by his answer, were proceeding in full gallop through the lane, when a 
shrill whistle rang through the air instantly followed by the impetuous 
charge of Sheldon's horse. Panic stricken, the enemy fled in every 
direction, but the fresh horses of the Americans carried their gallant 
riders wherever a wandering ray disclosed the steel cap, or the brilliant 
accoutrements of a Hessian. A bridle path leading from the place of 
ambush to the river was strewed with the dead and dying, while those 
who sought safety in the water were captured, cut to pieces or drowned. 
The conflict, so short and bloody, was decisive. One solitary horseman 
was seen galloping off in the direction of Yonkers, and he alone, wound- 
ed and unarmed, reached the camp of Col. Emmerick in safety. Here 
he related the particulars of the march, the sudden onset and retreat. 

Astonished and maddened with rage, Emmerick started his whole 
command in pursuit. Poor Post was striped for his fidelity, and after 
having a sufficient number of blows inflicted upon his person, left for 

The late John Dusenberry, of Greenburgh, used to relate "that his 
father lived at one time on the Edgar farm in the old stone house, which 
was still standing in 1847. The fight between Sheldon's dragoons and 
Wurtz's chasseurs took place in the road north of Edgar's house, and 
between it and the old ferry house, which was afterwards occupied by 
Livingston's farm house. The combat commenced in the road, and con- 
tinued easterly in the fields to which the yagers or Hessians fled." a 

The lane, half a mile in length, has been since used as a race course. 
The former residence of Van Burgh Livingston, Esq., is agreeably situ- 
ated near the river, a short distance north of Hastings. The estate is at 
present owned by Mr. Stephen Archer, who purchased it of Mr. Liv- 

The remains of the ancient military fort at Dobb's Ferry, is situated a 
little south-west of the Livingston residence. The form of the embank- 
ment is somewhat in the shape of a horse shoe. From its elevated posi- 
tion, it overlooks the ferry beneath, and the magnificent scenery of the 
Hudson River. This fort appears to have been a post of great importance 
during the revolutionary war ; for it not only commanded the passage of 
the river, but also the opposite ferry to Paramus, on the Jersey shore. 

a McDonald MSS., in possession of Geo. H. Moore, Esq,, of N. Y. Hist. Soc. [Yager horse 
probably fought in the road and retreated southerly in that direction, while the foot fled for 
safety easterly to the hills and woods. F. McD.] 


" On the 19th of July, 1 781/' (says Thatcher,) " the British frigates that 
passed up the North River, a few days since, took advantage of wind 
and tide to return to New York. A severe cannonade commenced from 
our battery, at Dobb's Ferry, where the river is about three miles wide. 
They were compelled literally to run the gaunlet ; and returned the 
fire as they passed, but without effect. On board the Savage, ship-of- 
war, a box of powder took fire ; and such was their consternation, that 
twenty people jumped into the river, among whom was a prisoner on 
board, who informs us that he was the only man who got on shore, all 
the rest being drowned. He reports, also, that the Savage was several 
times hulled by our shot, and was very near sinking."* 

The remains of a second redoubt are still visible on the property of 
Frederick W. Paulding, Esq. The village of Dobb's Ferry, one mile 
north of Hastings, is prettily situtated on the rising hills of Greenburgh, 
opposite the northern termination of the Palisades and the village of 
Tappan. This place derives its present name from the ancient family 
of the Dobbs, who have been long settled here, and also from the fact 
that they were the early ferrymen. In the year 1698, there was living in 
this vicinity, " Jan Dobs en zyn huys vrou," (and his wife,) Abigail, both 
members of the Dutch church, Sleepy Hollow. Thomas, their son, was 
born on the manor, A. D. 1 7 1 2. 

September 20, 1729, occurs a record in the Church books at Sleepy 
Hollow, of a marriage between William Dobs, born in Philadelphia, and 
Lea Van Waert, a native of the same place. They were perhaps Swedes, 
originally from the Delaware. Jeremiah Dobs, former proprietor of the 
ferry, left issue by Jane le Vines, besides two daughters, two sons Jere- 
miah and Peter. Several sons of the latter are still living in Greenburgh. 

The Indian name of this place as already shown was, Weec-quses- 
guck, literally " the place of the bark kettle." The aboriginal settlement 
appears to have been located at the mouth of the Weghqueghe or Wick- 
er's creek, (William Portuguese creek). This beautiful stream arises 
from two distinct springs, situated on the lands of E. W. Waldgrove and 
Frederick B. Wilsie, both of which, running nearly west, unite soon after 
crossing the Albany post-road ; here, commingled, they flow through a 
rocky glen enclosed between high wooded banks. Passing under the 
arch of the Croton acqueduct, the waters again appear rushing over their 
stony bed until their further progress is checked by the mill dam. Here 
a pipe of nine hundred feet in length conveys the water to the neighbor- 
ing mill, affording a fall of thirty feet to an overshot wheel. 

a Thatcher's Military Journal, 259. See Heath's Mem. 76, 294. 


In the vicinity of the upper dock, the ravine opens and. displays a- 
splendid view of the Hudson river. The road passing through the gap 
of the Greenburgh hills west of the Saw Mill Valley, follows the course 
of the ancient Indian path, which formerly led to the village of the "Bark 
Kettle" at the mouth of the Weghqueghe, or Wysquaqua Creek. 

The lower landing and ferry are situated some distance south of the 
creek at the foot of a steep bank. Here is a neat hotel, kept by Mr. 
Shadrach Taylor, for the convenience of passengers by the ferry, and the 
daily steamboats that touch at this dock. 

Dobb's Ferry was distinguished during the Revolution, as the scene 
of active military operations. To this fort, October 9, 1776, General 
Heath ordered Colonel Sargent, with 500 infantry, 40 light horse, Capt. 
Horton, of the artillery, with two 12 pounders, and Captain Crafts,, 
with a howitzer, to watch the movements of the enemy up the river.* 

To this place the British army retreated after the battle of White Plains, 
closely followed by reconnoitering parties of the Americans. On the 
7th of November, 1776, the enemy commenced foraging for grain and 
hay, and driving in cattle. b 

On the 29th of January, 1777, General Lincoln's division of the Con- 
tinental army was ordered to Dobb's Ferry. c 

This ferry was selected by General Arnold and Major Andre as the 
place of their first meeting. "Andre's letter to Sheldon, (observes Mr. 
Sparks, in his Life of Arnold,) when divested of its disguise, will be seen 
to have no other object than to communicate the intelligence that he 
should be at Dobb's Ferry at a certain time. He presumed the letter 
would be sent to Arnold, who would understand its meaning, and con- 
duct his plans accordingly, and so it turned out. Arnold left home on the 
afternoon of the 10th, went down the river in his barge to King's Ferry, 
and passed the night at the house of Joshua H. Smith, who resided 
about two miles and a half from the Ferry, near the road leading to 
Haverstraw. Early the next morning he proceeded to Dobb's Ferry, at 
which place Andre had arrived according to his appointment, accompa- 
nied by Colonel Beverly Robinson, to whom the secret had already been 
intrusted by Sir Henry Clinton, probably at the suggestion, or at least 
with the knowledge of Arnold. An accident occurred which prevented 
the interview, and was near putting an end to the plot itself. When 
Arnold was approaching the point of destination by water, he was fired 
upon by the British gun-boats stationed in that part of the river, and so 

a Heath Mem. 69. 
b Ibid. 84. 
c Ibid. 113. 


closely pursued that his life was in danger, and he was on the point of 
being taken prisoner. By some oversight the boats had not been with- 
drawn, or it may have been expected that Arnold would come with a 
flag, which appears not to have been the case. 

"Having landed on the west side of the river, he went down to the 
Ferry, where he remained till night. Whether Andre and Robinson 
were at the landing place on the opposite side, or whether they came up 
from New York in a vessel and remained on board, has not been ascer- 
tained; but, at any rate, no meeting took place. 

"Not forgetting his accustomed caution, Arnold wrote a letter to 
General Washington while at Dobb's Ferry. His passage down the 
river had been in so public a manner, that it could not fail to be known, 
and he feared suspicions might be raised concerning his motives and ob- 
jects. Filling up the principal part of his letter with matters of some 
importance appertaining to his command, he said, as if accidentally, that 
he had come down to that place, in order to establish signals, which 
were to be observed in case the enemy ascended the river ; and also 
to give additional directions respecting the guard-boats, and to have a 
beacon fixed on a hill, about five miles below King's Ferry, which would 
be necessary to alarm the country. These reasons were plausible, and 
afforded apparent proofs of his vigilance, rather than grounds for sus- 
pecting any sinister design. 

"Being foiled in this attempt to mature his scheme of treachery, he 
left Dobb's Ferry a little after sunset, went up the river in the night, and 
reached his quarters at Robinson's House, before morning. Andre and 
Colonel Robinson returned to New York." 

When Arnold left Andre, (the day previous to his capture at Tarry- 
town,) after delivering the treasonable papers, "Andre (continues Mr. 
Sparks) supposed he was to be sent on board the Vulture, as will appear 
by the following extract, which he wrote after his capture. 'Arnold 
quitted me,' said he 'having himself made me put the papers I bore be- 
tween my stockings and feet. Whilst he did it, he expressed a wish, in 
case of any accident befalling me, that they should be destroyed; which 
I said of course would be the case, as, when I went into the boat, I 
should have them tied about with a string and a stone. Before we par- 
ted, some mention had been made of my crossing the river, and going 
another route; but I objected much against it, and thought it was set- 
tled — that in the way I came I was to return.' 

" Arnold left him, and went up the river to head-quarters. Before he 

a Spark's Life of Benedict Arnold, 180, 181, 182. An account of the second interview will 
be found in Coitlandtown. 


departed from Smith's house, he urged Smith to go back with Andre to 
the Vulture as soon as it should be dark ; yet the matter seems to have 
b>een undecided, for he wrote and gave to Smith two passports (dating 
them ' Head Quarters,') one authorizing him to go by water, and the 
other by land. 

" The former was in these words: 'Joshua Smith has permission to 
pass with a boat and three hands, and a flag, to Dobb's Ferry, on public 
business, and to return immediately. ' " a 

After the trial of Andre at Tappan, and his letters and those of Wash- 
ington, as well as the proceedings of the board of examination, had been 
received by Sir Henry Clinton, then in New York, it was resolved by 
Clinton and a board of general officers, " That a deputation of three 
persons should proceed to the nearest American out-post, furnished with 
evidence to prove Major Andre's innocence, and to impart information 
which Sir Henry Clinton thought would place the question in a different 
light from that in which it had been viewed by the American board. The 
persons delegated on this mission were General Robertson, Andrew 
Elliot, and William Smith. They were accompanied by Beverly Robin- 
son as a witness in the case ; and were, fortified in their estimation, but 
weakened in reality, by a long explanatory and threatening letter from 
Arnold to General Washington. The commissioners went up the river 
in the Greyhound schooner, with a flag of truce, on the first of October. 
Notice of the intended visit and its objects had been already communi- 
cated by Sir Henry Clinton to Washington ; and when the vessel an- 
chored at Dobb's Ferry, General Greene was there, having been deputed 
by Washington to hold the interview on his behalf. The person sent on 
shore by the British commissioners brought word back, that General 
Robertson only would be permitted to land, and that General Greene 
was then in readiness to receive him. 

The conference was opened by Robertson, who paid some compli- 
ments to the American general, and expressed the satisfaction he had 
in treating with him, on an occasion so interesting to the two armies and 
to humanity. Greene replied, that it was necessary for them to know at 
the outset on what ground they stood : that he was not there in the 
character of an officer ; that he was allowed by General Washington to 
meet him as a private gentleman, but that the case of an acknowledged 
spy admitted of no discussion. Robertson said his design was to state 
facts, which he hoped would have their due weight, in whatever character 
he might be supposed to speak. 

a Sparks' Life of Benedict Arnold, 209 -JO. 


He then entered largely into the subject, endeavoring to show, first, 
that Andre landed under the sanction of a flag ; secondly, that he acted 
wholly by the directions of Arnold ; from both of which positions it was 
inferred, that he could not in any just sense of the word be regarded as 
a spy. The facts having all been examined by the board of officers, and 
being well understood, this new statement of them made no change in 
Green's opinion or impressions ; and when Arnold's testimony was in- 
troduced, he said the Americans would believe Andre in preference to 
Arnold. General Robertson said, that no military tribunal in Europe 
would decide the case of Andre to be that of a spy ; and he proposed to 
refer the question to Count de Rochambeau and General Knyphausen. 
Other considerations were urged by him, not so much in the way of 
argument as on the score of reciprocal benefits and humanity. He 
added that he should confide in General Greene's candor to represent in 
the fairest light to General Washington the arguments he had used; that 
he should stay on board all night, and hope in the morning to take back 
with him Major Andre, or an assurance of his safety.* 

"The British commissioners waited till morning, as General Robert- 
son had proposed ; and at an early hour they received a note from General 
Greene, stating that he had communicated to Washington the subject of 
the conference, but that it had produced no change in his opinion and 
determination. This intelligence was astounding to Robertson ; for he 
had written to Sir Henry Clinton the evening before, that he was per- 
suaded Abdre would not be harmed. How he got this impression is not 
easily discovered ; since he represented General Greene as obstinately 
bent on considering Andre as a spy, and resisting all his arguments to 
the contrary. 

Nothing more could be done by the commissioners. That no measure 
might be left untried however, General Robertson" 6 addressed the fol- 
lowing letter to General Washington, dated 

Greyhound Schooner, Flag of Truce, 
Dobb's Ferry, Oct. 2, 1780. 
Sir : — A note I had from General Greene leaves me in doubt if his memory 
had served him to relate to you, with exactness, the substance of the conver- 
sation that had passed between him and myself on the subject of Major Andre. 
In an affair of so much consequence to my friend, to the two armies, and humanity, 
I would leave no possibility of a misunderstanding, and therefore take the liberty 
to put in writing the substance of what I said to General Greene. I offered to 
prove by the evidence of Colonel Robinson and the officers of the Vulture, that 

a Sparks' Life of Arnold, p. 71, 2, 3. 
6 Sparks' Life of Arnold, p. 275-6. 


Major Andre went on shore at General Arnold's desire, in a boat sent for him 
with a flag of truce ; that he not only came ashore with the knowledge and 
under the protection of the General who commanded in the district, but that he 
took no step while on shore, but by the direction of General Arnold, as will 
appear by the enclosed letter from him to your Excellency. Under these circum- 
stances I could not, and hoped you would not, consider Major Andre as a spy, 
for any improper phrase in his letter to you. 

The facts he relates correspond with evidence I offer, but he admits a con- 
clusion which does not follow. The change of clothes and name was ordered by 
General Arnold, under whose direction he necessarily was while within his com- 

As General Greene and I did not agree in opinion, I wished that distinguished 
gentlemen of knowledge of the law of war and nations, might be asked their 
opinion on the subject, and mentioned Monsieur Knyphausen and General 
Rochambeau. I related that a Captain Robinson had been delivered to Sir 
Henry Clinton as a spy, and undoubtedly was such ; but that it being signi- 
fied to him that you were desirous that the man should be exchanged, he had 
ordered him to be exchanged. 

I wished that an intercourse of such civilities as the rules of war admit of 
might take off many of its horrors. I admitted that Major Andre had a great share 
of Sir Henry Clinton's esteem, and that he would be infinitely obliged by his 
liberation ; and that if he was permitted to return with me, I would engage to 
have any person you would be pleased to name, set at liberty. 

I added that Sir Henry Clinton had never put to death any person for a breach 
of rules of war, though he had, and now has, many in his power; under 
the present circumstances much good may arise from humanity, much ill from 
the want of it, if that could give any weight. I beg leave to add that your 
favorable treatment of Major Andre, will be a favor I shall ever be intent to re- 
turn to any you hold dear. 

My memory does not retain with the exactness I could wish, the words of the 
letter which General Greene showed me from Major Andre to your Excellency. 
For Sir Henry Clinton's satisfaction I beg you will order a copy of it to be sent 
to me at N. Y. I have the honor to be your Excellency's 

Most obedient and humble Servant, 
James Robertson. 

" This letter could have produced no effect, even if it had not arrived 
too late ; for it touched upon no points which had not already been 
examined and decided. The commissioners returned to New York." a 

Andre was executed at 1 2 o'clock the same day. 

"On the night of the 3d of August, 1781, about 11 o'clock, the British 
and American guard boats met in the river near Dobb's Ferry, when a 
considerable firing ensued ; the Americans had one man badly wounded, 
who died soon after. The damage sustained by the enemy was not 
known." August 7th, 1781, in the morning, about two o'clock, the 

a Spart's Life of Arnold, 2T6. 


American army was awakened by the firing of cannon at Dobb's Ferry. 
It appeared that two of the enemy's gun boats had come upas high as the 
ferry, probably to endeavor to seize some vessels or boats. On finding 
they were discovered, they fired four cannon, but to no effect. Four 
cannon were discharged at the boats from the battery, on which they 
went down the river. a 

Besides the two redoubts, there must have been a military block house 
erected here; for on the 17th of March, 1781, we find Major Graham 
ordered out with a detachment of 150 men for its relief, on which 
occasion, the garrison on both shores were doubled. b 

Washington's diary informs us that on the 4th of July, 1781, Wash- 
ington " marched and took a position a little to the left of Dobb's Ferry, 
and marked a camp for the French army upon our left." July 6, the 
French army formed "the junction with the American army on the 
ground marked out." "The American army was encamped in two lines, 
with the right resting on the Hudson River, near Dobb's Ferry. The 
French army stationed on the hills at the left, was a single line reach- 
ing to the Bronks river. There was a valley of considerable extent 
between the two armies." 

Washington's object in taking the position on the Hudson River near 
Dobb's Ferry, was to be prepared to make an attack on New York city, 
and also from the apprehension of that attack to induce the enemy to 
withdraw a large portion of his forces from the south. In this he was 
successful ; and thus it was that he was enabled to defeat and compel 
the surrender of Cornwallis, and end the war. 

By Washington's Orderly Book, July 6, 1781, written at Dobb's Ferry, 
Washington "embraces the earliest opportunity of expressing his thanks 
to Count de Rochambeau for the unremitting zeal with which he has 
prosecuted his march in order to form the long wished- for junction be- 
tween the French and American armies. An event which must afford 
the highest degree of pleasure to every friend of the country, and from 
which the happiest consequences are to be expected." 

The attack upon New York depended upon a large augmentation of 
the American army; waiting for that, Washington, with Rochambeau 
made extensive reconnoisances on the west as well as the east side of 
the Hudson River, starting from the headquarters at Dobb's Ferry. 

The strategy to induce the British army to come out of New York was 
various. Among other movements it was contemplated to land a large 

a Heath's Mem. 295. 
b Heath's Mem. 277. 
c Washington's Life by Washington Irving, vol. 17, p. 304, 305, 30G. 


force at Tubby Hook, to take by strategy, Fort Washington, and thus 
induce the enemy to come out to succor that important point, when the 
American army would rush upon the enemy, defeat him and follow Mm 
into the city. 

See Washington's address to Major-General Lord Sterling: — 

Headquarters Dobb's Feeey, > 
July 14, 1781. j 
" The party at Dobb's Ferry being for the purpose of erecting a work there ; 
they are not to withdraw for camp duty." 

Washington, with a considerable body, accompanied by the distinguished 
French officers, about to make a most interesting recognoizance, left 
Lord Sterling in command at Headquarters, Dobb's Ferry, to defend 
which a work was to be erected. 

During the period of about forty days, while Dobb's Ferry was the 
headquarters of the army, Washington addressed fifteen dispatches dat- 
ed at that place. "Light troops and lancers had performed their duty 
in scouring the neighborhood. The refugee pests, which had desolated 
the country, were broken up ; most of the refugees," Washington says, 
"had fled and hid themselves in several places." 

Irving, referring to the locations of the two armies at Dobb's Ferry, 
says: "The French encampment made a gallant display along the 
Greenburgh hills. Some of the officers took a pride in decorating their 
tents, and forming little gardens in their vicinity." 

Upon the suspension of hostilities, May 3, 1783, General Washington, 
His Excellency, Governor Clinton, and General Sir Guy Tarlton, (the 
British commander,) and their respective suites, met here. The two for- 
mer came down the river in barges; the latter ascended the river in a 
frigate. Four companies of light infantry performed the duty of guards 
on this memorable occasion. b 

Near the junction of the Albany Post, and Saw Mill river road, is sit- 
uated the Presbyterian church, sometimes called, by way of distinction, 
the lower Greenburgh church. This society was organized on the nth 
of April, 1825. Present at its first meeting of the clergy, the Rev. Sam- 
uel Robertson, Rev. Mr. Weeks, and the Rev. Mr. Wells of New Ro- 
chelle. Of the members, Perez Jones, Peter Nodine, James Odell, 
Elizabeth Lefurge, Van Burgh Livingston and Harriett Livingston. 

a Ditto, vol. iv, p. 304. 

b " The tour of duty having fallen to our regiment, we marched from Nelson's point, on the 
24th, crossed the river at King's Ferry, and on the 25th, encamped near the blocfe house at this 
place." August 5th; " flags were passing and repassing from this post to New York and 
back, every day." Thatcher's Mil. Journal, 310. 



This edifice was erected, A. D. 1827. Principal contributor, Van 
Burgh Livingston, Elder of the church. 

The Episcopal parish of Greenburgh was first organized by the Rev. 
Alexander H. Crosby, in 1833. St John's church, Yonkers, having for 
nearly seventy years previously, constituted the only benefice in the ma- 
nor of Philipsburgh. On the 31st of August, 1833, the church was in- 
corporated under the name and title of " The Rector, Church- wardens, 
and Vestrymen of Zion church, in the town of Greenburgh." "Joseph 
Howland and Oscar Irving, Church-wardens ; Van Burgh Livingston, 
Anthony Constant, William Waring, Cornelius M. Odell, Adam Storms 
and Everet Brown, Vestrymen."* 

Zion church stands upon the highest ground in the village of Dobb's 
Ferry, near the Albany Post-road. The wonderfully extensive views 
which this elevated spot commands on every side, are better seen than 
described. This edifice has been almost wholly rebuilt and enlarged to 
three times its original size, during the past year, and was consecrated 
on the 24th of July, 1854, by the late Rt. Rev. the Provisional Bishop 
of the Diocese. 

Zion Church, Lower Greenburgh, (Enlarged). 

1833, Rev. Alex. H. Crosby, A. M. 
1836, Rev. Wm. Ceaighton, D. D. 

1851, Rev. W. E. Heteb. 

1852, Rev. Wm. A. McViokeb, A. M. 
1860, Rev. I. H. Williams. 

1S65, Rev. Geo. B. Reese, Present. 

a County Kec. R. Society, Liber. B., p. 17. Day of election, Easter Tuesday. 


"The ground which it occupies was the gift of Van Burgh Livingston, 
Esq. The foundation of the old edifice was laid as we have seen in 
1833, and the church consecrated to the service of Almighty God, on 
Tuesday, the 20th of May, 1834, by Bishop Onderdonk. There are 
two or three interments in the grave-yard, surrounding the church, of 
members belonging to the Noble, Bowdoin and Irving families. 

In July, 1866, a dwelling house with about an acre of land on the 
south-east of the church property and immediately adjoining, was pur- 
chased as a rectory, for $7,900. 

In April, 1867, the vestry received a deed from the executors of 
Robert B. Minturn, of certain lots in the village of Hastings, where a 
service on Sunday afternoons had been for years maintained, to enable 
them to erect a chapel, nearly $800 for the purpose had already been 
donated by Admiral Farragut, being the first fruits of his prize money. 
His widow has since presented a handsome marble font. 

The corner stone of Zion chapel was laid by the Rector of Zion 
church, on the 2d of Oct., 1867, and the building was occupied for Di- 
vine service the following summer. The chapel is a frame, gothic struc- 
ture, and will seat 300 persons, and cost over $5,000. There was no 
debt upon it. 

In the year 1869, the Parish church was again enlarged, by the 
addition of a recess-chapel with organ and vestry room, and the church 
was repaired throughout. The improvements cost $8,000, all paid for. 

In 1878, the Rectory was remodelled and improved at an expense 
of $1,500. 

At Dearman's, now Irvington, was erected a building chapelwise, so 
as to be used separately as a school, or treated as a church. When 
needed for worship, the whole becomes a church. 

The dedication of the chapel school of St. Barnabas . took place on 
Saturday, June nth, 1853, the festival of St. Barnabas. The following 
particulars touching the origin of its free scholarship, may not be without 
interest in showing how a good scheme prospers under God's blessing. 

From a friend interested in the village of Irvington, came its first landed 
endowment, viz : The two village lots, (50 feet by 100) with two adjoin- 
ing gores, on which the building stands; the gift of one bearing an 
honored name, the grandson and name-sake of the friend, companion 
and counsellor of Washington, a name and gift now perpetuated in the 
'John Jay Scholarship.' A second bears in its name an equal national 
rank and character, viz: the 'Alexander Hamilton Scholarship,' 
through the kindness of the grandson and name-sake of that eminent 
leader in Washington's counsels and framer of our country's policy. A 



third bears also the name of the 'John Bard Scholarship,' the first 
contributor of funds to aid in the erection of the school. A fourth 
scholarship bears the well-known name of its earliest country contributor, 
a name as world-wide in literary reputation, as it is dear to his friends : 
the 'Washington Irving Scholarship.' A fifth bears the name of a 
most liberal and kind contributor to all good works : the ' Robert B. 
Minturn Schotarship.' A sixth that of the 'Franklin C. Field 
Scholarship,' in return for the gift of two village lots. And a seventh 
that of the 'Trinity Church Scholarship,' in memory of its liberal 
grant of $1,000. 

To these free scholarships, the nomination under the rules of the 
school, is in the hands of those whose names they respectively bear, for 
life, or descending to heirs according to the amount of endowment. 

In addition to the above private scholarship, nine further are provided, 
as "on the foundation," to which the nomination lies jointly in the 
"Visitor," the "Missionary" and the "Principal" of the school ; the 
object of these last being to provide gratuitous instruction for such as 
need it in the neighborhood, without the reproachful distinction of being 
received in forma pauperis. 

Cnapel School and Parsonage of St. Barnabas. 


May 21, 1859, Rev. Wm. MoVioker, D.D., resigned May 4, 1867. 
Aug. 22, 1867, Rev. Wm. Henry Benjamin, B.A., Present incumbent. 

This parish was incorporated in 1858. On the 1st of May, 1852, the 
Rev. Wm. A. McVicker, D.D., was appointed by Bishop Wainright. 
missionary to Dearmans now Irvington and parts adjacent. The corner 


J, 965. 


stone of the present chapel school was laid in August, 1852, and the 
building opened for divine service in May, 1853. On the nth of June, 
1864, the enlarged church building was consecrated by Bishop Potter. 

Immediately in the vicinity of Dobb's Ferry, and contiguous to the 
river, is the residence and estate of James A. Hamilton, Esq., son of the 
Hon. Alexander Hamilton. The house which commands a fine view of the 
river, contains among other valuable family relics, the original portrait of 
General Washington, painted by Stewart for the Hon. Alexander Hamil- 
ton ; after his death it remained in the possession of Mrs. Hamilton, 
upon whose decease it passed into the hands of her son — the present 
owner. The Hamilton estate formerly belonged to the Odell family. 
Jonathan Odell, father of the destinguished Colonel John Odell, was re- 
siding here in the Autumn of 1776, when the British army, after retiring 
from White Plains, encamped in the neighborhood. 

The enemy, upon their final retreat to New York, arrested Mr. Odell 
and four of his neighbors as prisoners of war. On their arrival in the 
city, they were consigned to the provost. Here four of them died of 
poison, said to have been administered in their food. Jonathan Odell 
escaped through the kindness of a friend, who daily brought him pro- 
visions. Each of the sufferers had sons in the Continental army, which 
was the cause of this inhuman treatment. 

Bordering the river in the same vicinity, about two miles south of 
Tarrytown, a winding lane leads to Sunny Side, the residence of the Hon. 
Washington Irving. "There is scarcely (observes Mr. Downing,) a 
building or place more replete with interest in America than the cottage 
of Washington Irving, near Tarrytown. The legend of Sleepy Hollow, 
so delightfully told in the sketch book, has made every one acquainted 
with his neighborhood; and especially with the site of the present build- 
ing there celebrated as the 'Van Tassel House,' one of the most secluded 
and delightful nooks on the banks of the Hudson. With characteristic 
taste, Mr. Irving has chosen this spot — the haunt of his early days, since 
rendered classic ground by his elegant pen — and made it his permanent 
residence. The house of 'Baltus Van Tassel,' has been altered and 
rebuilt in a quaint style, partaking somewhat of the English cottage 
mode, but retaining strongly marked symptoms of its Dutch origin. The 
quaint old weathercocks and fmials, the crow stepped gables and the 
hall paved with Dutch tiles, are among the ancient and venerable orna- 
ments of the houses of the original settlers of Manhattan, now almost 
extinct among us. There is also a quaint keeping in the cottage, and 
grounds around it, that assists in making up the chain of the whole ; the 
gently swelling slope reaching down to the water's edge, bordered by pret- 


tily wooded ravines, through which a brook meanders pleasantly, and 
threaded by foot paths, ingeniously contrived — so as sometimes to afford 
secluded walks, and at others to allow fine vistas of the broad expanse 
of river scenery."" 

Over the porch, is the following inscription : 


^111110 1650, 

Bdniilt bi) 
iNslntt8t0tt jlming, 

<&lttt0 1835. 

Geo. Harvey, 

Above the peaked turret of the portal, glitters a horse at full gallop, 
once the weathercock of the great Van der Hyden palace at Albany; 
the other, upon the eastern gable, formerly surmounted the Stadt House 
of New Amsterdam. 

The interrior is in perfect harmony with the exterior design of this 
quaint and venerable edifice. In the library are preserved the elbow 
chair and writing desk of Diedrich Knickerbocker. 

The " Van Tassel House " occupies the site of "Wolfert's Roost," 
which was built by Wolfert Ecker, an ancient Dutch burgher of this 

In 1697, we find recorded the name of Jan Ecker, first accepted dea- 
con of the Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, which office he appears to 
have held for several years. By his wife Magdelentje, Jan Ecker left 
issue, Wolfert, Cornelis and others. 

The will of Wolfert Ecker, bears date 1753, "wherein he bequeaths 
to his son Stephen, a cow, or the worth thereof, more than the others, 
for his birth right; and to the child of his grand-son, Wolfert Ecker, son 
of Sybout, twenty shillings, beside other bequests to the remainder of 
his children, viz.: Sybout, Abram and Maretje." & A branch of this 
family still resides in the neighborhood. From the Eckers, this property 
passed by marriage to the gallant family of the Van Tassels, who figure 
so conspicuously in the writings of Diedrich Knickerbocker. 

a Downintf's Kural Architecture, 335. 

b Kec. Su ace, X. V. lib. xlx. 29. 


During the stormy period of the revolution, it belonged to "Jacob 
Van . Tassel, or Van Taxel, as the name was originally spelt, after the 
place in Holland, which gave birth to this heroic line." The following 
graphic sketch of the exploits of this redoubtable hero, is taken from the 
chronicle of the Roost : 

"The situation of the Roost is in the very heart of what was the debateable 
ground between the American and British lines, during the war. The British 
held possession of the city of New York, and the island of Manhattan, on which 
it stands. The Ameiicacs drew up towards the highlands, holding their head- 
quarters at Peekskill. The intervening country, from Croton River to Spiting 
Devil Creek, was the debateable land, subject to be harried by friend and foe, 
like the Scottish borders of yore. It is a rugged country, with a line of rocky 
hills extending through it like a back bone, sending ribs on either side ; but 
among these rude hills are beautiful winding valleys, like those watered by the 
Pocantico and the Neperan. In the fastnesses of these hills, and along these 
valleys, exist a race of hard-headed, hard-handed stout-hearted Dutchmen, 
descended of the primitive Netherlanders. Most of these were strong whigs 
throughout the war, and have ever remained obstinately attached to the soil, 
and neither to be fought nor bought out of their paternal acres. Others were 
tories, and adherents to the old kingly rule ; some of whom took refuge within 
the British lines, joined the royal bands of refugees, (a name odious to the 
American ear, ) and occasionally returned to harrass their ancient neighbors. 

" In a little while, this debateable land was overrun by predatory bands from 
either side ; sacking hen-hoosts, plundering farm-houses, and driving off cattle. 
Hence arose those two great orders of border chivalry, the Skinners and the Cow 
Boys, famous in the heroic annals of Westchester county. The former fought, 
or, rather, marauded under the American, the latter undei the British banner ; 
but both, in the hurry of their military ardor, were apt to err on the safe side, 
and rob friend as well as foe. Neither of them stopped to ask the politics of 
horse or cow, which they drove into captivity ; nor, when they wrung the neck 
of a rooster, did they trouble their heads to ascertain whether he were crowing 
for Congress or King George. 

"While this marauding system prevailed on shore, the Great Tappan Sea, 
which washes this belligerent region, was domineered over by British frigates 
and other vessels of war, anchored here and there, to keep an eye upon the 
river, and maintain a communication between the various military posts. Stout 
galleys, also armed with eighteen pounders, and navigated with sails and oars, 
cruised about like hawks, ready to pounce upon their prey. 

All these were eyed with bitter hostility by the Dutch yeomanry along shore, 
who were indignant at seeing their great Mediterranean ploughed by hostile 
prows ; and would occasionally throw up a mud breast- work on a point or prom- 
ontory, mount an old iron field-piece, and fire away at the enemy, though the 
greatest harm was apt to happen to themselves, from the bursting of their ord- 
nance ; nay, there was scarce a Dutchman along the river that would hesitate to 
fire with his long duck gun at any british cruiser that came within his reach, a- 
he had been accustomed to fire at water foul. 


"I have been thus particular in my account of the times and neighborhood, 
that the reader might the more readily comprehend the surrounding dangers in 
this, the heroic age of the Roost. 

'' It was commanded at the time, as I have already observed, by the stout Jacob 
van Tassel. As I wish to be extremely accurate in this part of my chronicle, 1 
beg that this Jacob van Tassel, of the Roost, may not be coufounded with an- 
other Jacob van Tassel, commonly known in border story by the name of 
'clump-footed Jack,' a noted tory, and one of the refugee band of Spiting 
Devil. On the contrary, he of the Roost was a patriot of the first water ; and, if 
we may take his own word for granted, a thorn in the side of the enemy. As 
the Roost, from its lonely situation on the water's edge, might be liable to attack, 
he took measures for defence. On a row of hooks, above his fire place, reposed 
his great piece of ordnance, ready charged and primed for action. This was a 
duck, or, rather, goose-gun of unparalleled longitude — with which it was said he 
could kill a wild goose, though half way across the Tappan Sea. « Indeed, there 
are as many wonders told of this renowned gun as of the enchanted weapons of 
the hero es of classic story. 

"In different parts of the stone walls of his mansion he had made loop-holes, 
through which he might fire upon an assailant. His wife was stout-hearted as 
himself, and could load as fast as he could fire ; and then he had an ancient and 
redoubtable sister, Nocnie van Wurmur, a match, as he said, for the stoutest 
man in the country. Thus garrisoned, the little Roost was fit to stand a siege, 
and Jacob van Tassel was the man to defend it to the last charge of powder. 

"He was, as I have already hinted, of pugnacious propensities; and, not content 
with being a patriot at home, and fighting for the security of his own fireside, he 
extended his thoughts abroad, and entered into a confederacy with certain of the 
bold, hard-riding lads of Tarrytown, Petticoat Lane and Sleepy Hollow — who 
formed a kind of holy brotherhood, scouring the country to clear it of skinners 
and cow-boys, and ail other border vermin. The Roost was one of their rallying 
points. Did a band of marauders from Manhattan island come sweeping through 
the neighborhood, and driving off cattle, the stout Jacob and his compeers were 
soon clattering at their heels ; and fortunate did the rogues esteem themselves if 
they could but get a part of their booty across the lines, or escape themselves, 
without a rough handling. Should the moss troopers succeed in passing with 
their cavalgada, with thundering tramp and dusty whirlwind, across King's 
Bridge, the holy brotherhood of the Roost would reign up at that perilous pass, 
and, wheeling about, would indemnify themselves by foraging the refugee region 
of Morrisania. 

" When at home at the roost, the stout Jacob was not idle ; he was prone to 
carry on a petty warfare of his own, for his private recreation and refreshment. 
Did he ever chance to espy, from his look-out place, a hostile ship or galley 
anchored or becalmed near shore, he would take down his long goose-guu from 
the hooks over the fire-place, sally out alone, and lurk along shore, dodging 
behind rocks and trees, and watching for hours together, like a veteran mouser 
intent on a rat hole. So sure as a boat put off for shore, and came within shot, 

a The goose-gun is still in existence, having been preserved for many years in a hollow 
tree. It is now in the possession of Mr. Caleb Brush, of Grove street, New York, who mar- 
ried the celebrated heroine, Laney van Tassel. 


bang went the great goose-gun ; a shower of slugs and buck-shot whistled about 
the ears of the enemy, and, before the boat could reach the shore, Jacob had 
scuttled up some woody ravine, and left no trace behind. 

"About this time the Roost experienced a vast accession of warlike importance, 
in being made one of the stations of the water-guard. 

" This was a kind of aquatic corps of observation, composed of long, sharp 
canoe-shaped boats, technically called whale-boats, that lay lightly on the water, 
and could be rowed with great rapidity. They were manned by resolute fellows, 
skilled at pulling an oar or handling a musket. These lurked about in nooks 
and bays, and behind those long promontories which run out into the Tappan 
Sea, keeping a look-out, to give notice of the approach or movements of hostile 
ships. They roved about in pairs, sometimes at night, with muffied oars, glid- 
inglike spectres about frigates and guard-ships riding at anchor ; cutting off any 
boat that made for shore, and keeping the enemy in constant uneasiness. These 
mosquito cruisers generally kept aloof by day, so that their harboring places 
might not be discovered, but would pull quietly along, under shadow of the 
shore, at night, to take up their quarters at the Roost. Hither, at such time, 
would also repair the hard-riding lads of the hills, to hold secret councils of war 
with the ' ' ocean chivalry , " and in these nocturnal meetings, were concerted 
many of those daring forays, by land and water, that resounded throughout the 

The chronicle here goes on to recount divers wonderful stories of the 
wars of the Roost, from which it would seem that this little warrior nest 
carried the terror of its arms into every sea from Spiting Devil Creek to 
St. Anthony's Nose ; that it even bearded the stout island of Manhattan, 
invading it at night, penetrating to its centre, and burning down the 
famous DeLancey house, the conflagration of which makes such a blaze 
in revolutionary history. Nay, more ; in their extravagant daring, these 
cocks of the Roost meditated a nocturnal descent upon New York itself, 
to swoop upon the British commanders, Howe and Clinton, by surprise, 
bear them off captive, and, perhaps, put a triumphant close to the 

" This doughty Dutchman (continues the sage Diedrich Knickerbocker) was 
not content with taking a share in all the magnanimous enterprises concocted at 
the Roost, but still continued his petty warfare along shore. A series of exploits 
at length raised his confidence in his prowess to such a height, that he began to 
think himself and his goose-gun a match for anything. Unluckily, in the 
Course of one of his prowlings, he descried a British transport aground, not far 
from shore, with her stern swung towards the land within point-blank shot. 
The temptation was too great to be resisted ; bang I as usual went the great 
goose-gun, shivering the cabin windows, and driving all hands forward. Bang ! 
bang ! the shots were repeated. The reports brought several sharp-shooters of 
the neighborhood to the spot : before the transport could bring a gun to bear, or 
land a boat, to take revenge, she was soundly peppered, and the coast evacuated. 
She was the last of Jacob's triumphs. He fared, like some heroic spider, that 


had unwittingly snared a hornet — to his immortal glory, perhaps, but to the 
utter ruin of his web. 

" It was not long after this, during the absence of Jacob van Tassel on one of 
his forays, and when no one was in garrison but his stout-hearted spouse, his 
redoubtable sister Nochie van Wurmer, and a strapping negro wench called Di- 
nah, that an armed vessel came to anchor off the Roost and a boat full of men 
pulled to shore. The garrison flew to arms — that is to say, to mops, broomsticks, 
shovels, tongs, and all kinds of domestic weapons — for, unluckily, the great 
piece of ordnance, the goose-gun, was absent with its owner. Above all, a vig- 
orous defence was made with that most potent of female weapons, the tongue. 
Never did invaded hen-roost make a more vociferous outcry. It was all in vain. 
The house was sacked and plundered, fire was set to each corner, and, in a few 
moments, its blaze shed a baleful light far over the Tappan Sea. The invaders 
then pounded upon the blooming Laney van Tassel, the beauty of the Roost, 
and endeavored to bear her off to the boat. But here was the real tug of war. 
The mother, the aunt, and the strapping negro wench, all flew to the rescue. 
The struggle continued down to the very water's edge, when a voice from the 
armed vessel at anchor ordered the spoilers to let go their hold. They relin- 
quished the prize, jumped into their boats, and pulled off, and the heroine of the 
Roost escaped with a mere rumpling of the feathers." 

" Shortly after the catastrophe of the Roost, Jacob van Tassel, in the 
course of one of his forays, fell into the hands of the British, was sent 
prisoner to New York, and was detained in captivity for the greater 
part of the war."* 

The present owners of Sunny Side are the daughters of Peter Ebene- 
zer Irving, Esq., eldest brother of the late Honorable Washington Irving. 

The family of Irving is from Scotland, in the northern part of which 
kingdom it was (as an ancient record quoted by Chambers the historian, 
and by Sir Walter Scott, observes,) "an ancient and principal family." 
Very frequent mention is made of them in the early annals of that 
country ; and in several instances they are spoken of by the above named 
writers as possessing a distinguished position and great influence among 
the baronial families of the north-east counties. 

An old and curious manuscript history of this family is preserved by 
one of them in this country, entitled, " The original of the Family of 
Irvines, or Erivines, written by Christopher Irvine, M. A., State Phy- 
sician and History-grapher to his majesty, King Charles the Second, in 
Scotland, and gent to his brother Sir Gerard Irvine, Bart., of Castle 

a Knickerbocker Magazine, ("pon good authority McDonald says that. " Jacob van Tassel 
was, during the Revolutionary war, a lieutenant of militia, etc. While in the service of 
Congress he risoner at Pine's Bridge, and detained two years and four months. 

During his captivity his house, barn, etc., situated in the town of Greenburgh, etc., were 
occupied by Captain Buchanan's company of Continentals and the water guard as aguard- 
house a I sers and men, etc. In the month of September, 1T79, a British 

man of war. lying in the river, landed a large party of men, and, after driving the guards off, 
set fire to his house and out-houses, and destroyed or took away all his stock, cattle, grain, 
furniture and farming implements, etc." McDonald MSS., in possession of Geo. Moore, 01 
N. Y. Hist. Soc'y. 


Irvine in the kingdom of Ireland, in the year 1660." From this manu- 
script it appears that the oldest branch of the family styled the " Irvines 
of Bonshaw," were settled on the banks of the river Eshe, where they 
continued for many successive generations with varying fortunes. From 
this stock are descended the English and Irish Irvines, among the latter 
having been the 'Rt. Hon. General Sir John Irvine, Commander-in-chief 
of his majesty's forces in Ireland in the year 1779. 

A very early offshoot of this parent stock were the "Irvines of Drum." 
The eldest son of the house of Bonshaw, William, having been knighted 
by King Robert Bruce in the year 1296, and for long and faithful servi- 
ces in the field, having been endowed with the lands of Drum on the 
river Dee in Aberdeenshire, which are to this day in possession of his 
descendants. The castle of Drum is about ten miles from the city of 
Aberdeen, and is now inhabited by Alexander Irvine, Esq., the lineal 
descendant of the above Sir William. Sir William Irvine of Drum mar- 
ried the daughter of Sir Robert Keith, Knight, Lord Marshall of Scot- 
land, and of Margaret Hay, daughter of Gilbert Hay, Lord Hay, first 
Constable of that family. The manuscript referred to observes, that, 
" The king gave him the lands of the forest of Drum, and he himself 
having carried a private coat of arms whilst he was concealed under the 
name of the Earl of Carrick ; he likewise gave him that, with permission 
for him and his descendants forever to bear it as their armorial bearing, 
with this motto, "sub sole, sub zimbra virens" alluding to the family's 
great fidelity to him in his troubles. The badge or bearing consists of 
three holly leaves banded gules, on a shield argent" The history relates 
the vicissitudes which befell this family with much minuteness, and 
records their alliances with many of the most distinguished families of 
the kingdom; Abernethy, Forbes, Ogilvie, Douglas, Leslie, Dundas, 
etc., etc. There were several families of consideration which sprung 
from these alliances, among which are named the Irvines of King 
Caussie, Cutts, Glassil, Easterclane, Cornyhaugh, Murthil, and Astain- 
ford — all of which estates were in the north-eastern counties of Scotland., 
During the civil wars they suffered severely in property, and have since 
lost much of their former influence ; although still retaining a position of 
the highest respectability among the gentry of that part of Scotland. 

The first of the family who settled in America was William Irving, 
the son of Magnus Irving, who was born in 1731 ; and who, on coming 
to this country in 1763, altered the orthography of the family name, 
changing the final letter from e to g, to accord with the English usage. 
He was married at Falmouth, England, in 176 1, to Sarah, daughter of 
John Sanders, Esq., of Falmouth, England. This gentleman was a very 


successful and highly respected merchant of the city of New York, com- 
manding universal esteem for his' probity. He died in the year 1807, 
leaving five sons and three daughters. The eldest son was William 
Irving, a merchant of New York. He was distinguished as a gentle- 
men of literary taste, and was concerned with his brother, Washington 
Irving, and Mr. J. K. Paulding, in writing Salmagundi. He was also a 
member of Congress in 1812, and died in 1821. The second son was 
Peter Irving, M. D., who died in 1837. The third son was Ebenezer 
Irving, Esq., late proprietor of Sunny Side, the father of the Rev. Pierre 
Paris Irving, Rev. Theodore Irving, William, Sanders, and of Edgar 
Irving, and the ladies who now occupy the homestead. The fourth son 
was John Treat Irving, Esq., a member of the bar, and for many 
years before his death, (which took place in 1835,) first judge of 
the city and county of New York. The youngest son was the late 
Hon. Washington Irving, whose literary fame will hand his name down 
to the remotest posterity. This distinguished and noble man was born 
in New York on the 3d of April, 1783 and died at Sunny Side, Novem- 
ber 28th, 1859. Beside all his literary labors, he was, for several years, 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Spain. He was, also, for many 
years a warden of Christ church, Tarrytown ; and, on several occasions, 
served as a lay-delegate to the Diocesan Convention. His remains 
repose beside those of his father and mother in the Mount Pleasant 
cemetery, upon the slope of the hill just north of the old Dutch church 
of Sleepy Hollow: "near the sunniest of the slope, where a grove of 
oak and yew trees commences to crown the hill, is the burial-place of 
the Irving family. It is a large, square lot, bounded by a low fence and 
a thickly-grown evergreen hedge. Near the centre is a row of five 
graves, while a few feet distant is another row of five more graves, all 
marking the resting places of deceased members of the Irving family." 
Between these two rows, and connecting them in one continuous row, is 
the grave of the illustrious and beloved Washington Irving, which is 
marked by a plain white marble slab, bearing the following inscription : 


Son of William and Sarah S. Irving, 


Nov. 28, 1859. 

Aged 76 years, 7 mo. and 25 days. 

Immediately north of Van Tassel house is the residence of the late 
Philip R. Paulding, Esq., now know as the estate of the late Geo. Merrit, 
delightfully seated on a bold bank of the Hudson ; it commands, from 


its elevated position, the noblest prospects of the river, while the view to 
the east is terminated by the lofty hills of Greenburgh. The edifice is 
constructed of Sing Sing marble, after the designs of Alex. J. Davis, 

In its details, both externally and internally, the most minute at- 
tention has been paid to a careful correspondence with the best ex- 
amples of the Tudor era. 

Among the most remarkable features of the building, deserves to be 
noticed the admirable porte cochere, or covered entrance for carri- 
ages,and a superb library ornamented with a lofty ceiling of carved 

The Paulding family have long been residents of this town. As early 
as 17 12, we fmd Joost Pauldinck accepted deacon of the Dutch Church. 
The name of Joost Pauldinck occurs in a conveyance from William 
Odellof Rye, AD., 1667. 

In 1709 Joost Pauldinck appears to have been residing at West- 
chester. The father of the present proprietor is William Paulding, Esq., 
Mayor of the City of New York in 1827. The patriot John Paulding, 
who captured the British spy, Major Andre, was of this family. 

The next object worthy of notice is the elegant and secluded villa of 
the late Henry Sheldon, Esq. This building is in the rural Gothic style 
and presents a very beautiful and picturesque exterior, combined with 
every accommodation and convenience of internal arrangement. No 
pains have been spared in laying out the adjoining grounds and planta- 

A small stream running through a deep and woody glen has been ob- 
structed in various places by rock work, and thus forms several artificial 
cascades. Some close walks, winding by the stream, conduct to a large 
fall situated at the glen's mouth. The scenery about the fall is extremely 
fine, embracing a lovely view of the Hudson river. The old Van Weert 
mill has been transformed into a Swiss cottage and boat house. The 
Van Weert family were the first occupants of this estate under the 
Philipses, and subsequently became its possessors in fee. In 1698 there 
appears to have been three married brothers of this ancient family living 
in Philipsburgh, who claimed descent from the illustrious house of Van 
Weert in Holland, viz. Joacham Van Weert and Christyntje his wife, 
Gerredit Van Weert and Cathalyna his wife, Jacob Van Weert and 
Bieltitje his wife. 

Gerredit Van Weert left issue, Jan Van Weert, father of Isaac, who 
sold this property to Mr. Sheldon. 

The village of Tarrytown is pleasantly situated in the lap of the Green- 


burgh hills, overlooking the Hudson at the widest point of the Tappan 
Zee, which is here nearly three miles across. 

Tarwe town, the old orthography of the Dutch word tarwe, (wheat) 
" the wheat town," probably so called from the abundant culture of that 
grain in this vicinity. 

Here was an Indian village in 1659," styled by the aborigines Alip- 
conck, that is the place of elms. It seems more than probable that this 
ancient settlement occupied a hill at the south end of the present village. 
This opinion is somewhat confirmed by the circumstance that the whole 
ground is covered with shells, in some places to the depth of two or 
three feet. It is presumed that these " shell beds" generally indicate 
the site of Indian habitations. 

Upon the same spot are situated the remains of the old military re- 
doubt from whence the gallant water guard cannonaded the Vulture 
sloop of war, as she lay grounded on the ballast reef. The site of the 
Indian village and redoubt belong to Mr. Hart, who purchased of the 
Dutch Church. 

The Dutch settlement of Tarwetown commenced soon after Philips 
purchase in 1680. The first dwellings appear to have been erected 
near the water's edge, for the convenience of shipping, which found here 
a fine natural harbor. Prior to 1775 a dock had been constructed, 
and several houses erected near it. There are over five hundred dwell- 
ings, one Protestant Episcopal church, one Dutch Reformed church, one 
Baptist, one Methodist Episcopal church, one colored Methodist church. 
Four hotels and taverns, a large number of stores ; one savings' bank, 
one banking house, and several young ladies' seminaries. 

In 1875 the water works were constructed, a large reservoir was built 
on the hill east of the village — it is supplied by water from the Adrec 
brook, which is thrown up by the means of a steam pump near the depot. 
There is a fine fire department, organized by the Board of Trustees. 
In 1776, the village consisted of twelve dwelling houses. At the present 
day steamboats make daily trips from this place to the city of New 
York, and a number of sloops are also owned here, which run to various 
places on the river. h Near the water's edge, in the vicinity of the land- 
ing, is situated the residence of General William Paulding. This house 
was erected previous to the Revolution, by his father William Paulding, 
Esq. From its proximity to the water it was frequently the object of 
the enemy's fire; the marks of their cannon balls are still visible on its 

a Visscher's map Nov. Belpii. 

6 A steam ferry connects this place ■with Nyack, a village situated on the opposite side of 
the Hudson. 




Upon a commanding position, north of the village, is seated the old 
Irving Institute now occupied by Prof. Jackson as a military school. It 
was founded in 1838, by W. P. Lyon. The location is, perhaps, the 
most desirable that could be selected for the purposes of education in 
this vicinity. The site is half a mile from the village landing, and about 
twenty-five miles distant from New York, with which there is daily com- 
munication. The edifice is a commodious brick building with wings, and 
a large rear building for the school. The grounds embrace several acres, 
affording abundant opportunity for healthy sports, and are quite retired 
from the village. On the opposite side of Pocantico street is the Irving 
Institute formerly kept by D. S. Rowe, A. M., now under the charge of 
his son-in-law, A. Armagnac, A. M., as principal, and D. A. Rowe, his 

Christ Church, Tarrytown. 

son, as vice-principal. It is a classical and commercial boarding 

The buildings are well situated on high ground commanding a fine 
view ; the grounds are ample and attractive. The school is limited in 
number and family in its character, its discipline is good, and its training 
moral and physical well attended to. 

Christ church, Tarrytown, is a neat Gothic edifice of brick, pleasantly 
located in the main street. 

This church was erected in 1836, and consecrated to the service of 
Almighty God by the name and style of Christ's church Tarrytown, Sep- 
tember, 1837. The whole structure is valued at $8,000. 


On the north side of the chancel are two marble slabs bearing the 
following inscriptions : 


memory of memory of 


Bom October, 1765, (Relict of Frederick Philips, 6) 

and departed this life the of Philipstown, Putnam County, 

16th day of July, New Yoek, 

A. D. 1843, who departed this life the 13th day of 

Sister to Maeia Philips. November, A. D. 1839, 

" In death they aged 68 years. 

were not 

divided." Her remains rest within the walls of 

the Tower of this Church. 

The memory of the just is 
blessed. — Prov. x. 7. 

The Rev. William Creighton, D.D., first incumbent, was succeeded by 
Rev. J. Selden Spencer, present incumbent in 1865. The rectory adjoin- 
ing the church, was built in 1875. There are costly memorial tablets 
in the church to Rev. Dr. Creighton and Washington Irving. The 
church was enlarged and beautified in 1868. 

Upon a commanding eminence, nearly in front of the Episcopal 
church, stands the mausoleum of the Cobb family. The lower portion 
consists of a broad marble base, containing apartments for two sarco- 
phagi, and likewise an upper receptacle for coffins, the whole surmounted 
by a neat obelisk. 6 

The Second Reformed Dutch church is situated immediately above 
the former, on the road leading to Sing Sing. This building is also con- 
structed of brick. The front presents a colonnade of the Ionic order 
surmounted with a wooden tower and spire. This church was erected 
A. D. 1837, and is in union with the old Dutch church at Sleepy Hol- 

Above the entrance is placed the following inscription : 

"Refoemed Dutch Ciiueoh." 

Erected A. D. 1837, 

In all places where I record 

my name I will come 

unto thee and I will bless thee. 

Exodus xx : 24. 

a Maria Kemble and her sister were nieces of the nonorable Viscount Gage. 

b Son of Philip Philipse, proprietor of the PMlipstown patent, and grandson of the Hon. 
Fr«<l rick Pbilipse, Lord of the Manor of Philipsburgh. 

c This structure has been recently erected for ('apt. Nathan Cobb, now a resident of this 
village, formerly and for many years a most efficient and successful commander in the Liver- 
pool packet line from New York. — Irving Banner. 


The first pastor of this church was the Rev. George Dubois, who was 
succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Wilson, who was called in 1845, and Rev. 
John Mason Ferris, in 1849. The " First Reformed church," was built 
in 1854, a division having been made in 1852; Rev. Mr. Ferris was 
installed, January 11, 1852, over the " Second Reformed church," (built 
1837,) and in July, 1852, Rev. Abel T. Stewart was called to the First 
Reformed Dutch church, (" the old Dutch church.") Rev. Mr. Ferris 
was succeeded by Rev. John A. Todd, D. D., in the year 1855, who is 
the present pastor of the Second Reformed church. Rev. Mr. Stewart 
was succeeded in the First Reformed Dutch church by Rev. John B. 
Thompson, D. D., who was called in 1866, and he by Rev. John Knox 
Allen, Who is the present pastor. 


About 1807 the congregation being of such importance necessitated 
the building of a church for the growing society. The first class was 
probably formed at the house of Mrs. Childs, under the hill below what 
is now known as the Cliff House. Mr. Wm. Requa offered a plot of ground 
on the corner of Maine street and Windel Park which was accepted, and 
a society was incorporated to build a church on this spot. They met 
at the house of Mr. Wm. Requa to take the proper legal measures. The 
certificate of this incorporation was filed in Westchester County Clerk's 
Office, March 1st, 1808. Under this the church existed as a body 
corporate until about the year 1820 or 21, when the annual meeting for 
the election of trustees seems to have been omitted and the corporation 
ceased to exist. About August, 1 821, a reorganization took place and 
the name given to the new corporation was "The Trustees of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church at Tarrytown in the town of Greenburgh 
and County of Westchester," which was filed Nov. 14th, 1821. The 
present title of the church — " Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church " — 
was probably adopted on the erection of it. At the meeting of the society 
first named, Mr. Wm. Requa conveyed lots for the building of the new 
church on the corner of Main street and Windel Park, and on which the 
first Methodist Episcopal church of Tarrytown was subsequently erected. 

" It was a pleasing sight to see, when this little church was erected, 
the good old members wending their way to church of an evening with 
lighted candles in their hands. What a methodistical appearance they 
presented ! The men seated on one side, and the women and children 
on the other. Look at these men with their plain shad-bellied coats and 
white collarless cravats ; and the women in plain quaker garb. Not a 
ruffle, nor a bow, nor a flower ! A flower ! shades of all saints ! Talk of 


flowers in a Methodist church meeting. Why, that was the "abomination 
of desolation." 

In this unpretentious building not only did the first Methodists worship, 
but that also of the present flourishing Episcopal church known as 
" Christ church " had its origin. When Mr. Holmes first came to 
Tarrytown in 1833 he found no place of worship of his own Church 
nearer than several miles from the village ; he referred to his Bishop for 
authority to lay-read and procure a place in which to do it, accordingly 
he applied to the trustees of the Methodist church for the occasional use 
of the building,which was readily granted — and here service was held in 
the afternoons of Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Creighton officiated in the 
absence of Mr. Holmes, and here they laid the foundation »of their 
church and Sunday school. At this time there was no other church in 
the place except the old Dutch church in Sleepy Hollow. 

In the year 1842, the name of Tarrytown as a separate charge first 
appears in the minutes of the Conference. In the year 1843, Pleasant- 
ville was separated from Tarrytown. In 1837, the increased prosperity 
of the church, demanded a new and more suitable edifice. Accordingly, 
a site was purchased from Dr. Josh Scribner, in Washington Street. The 
corner-stone was laid April 17, 1837. The dimensions of the build- 
ing were 40 x 60, and the cost $5,394. The church was dedicated, and 
two years after the whole church debt cancelled. And so, after an oc- 
cupation of about thirty years, the old church was forsaken, and has 
been converted into a dwelling. 

A curious entry is found in the old Trustee minutes, in which it is 
ordered, that "hereafter, (1840) the males and females should enter the 
church by separate doors, and sit on the opposite sides of the aisles, and 
that the seats under the gallery be assigned to the colored members.'' 
These regulations were posted in the vestibule of the church. The par- 
sonage was built on a lot directly north of the church in 1854, at a 
cost of $4,800. 

In 1857, the church was enlarged twenty-five feet in length; and in 
1865, the entire indebtedness of $5,620 was cancelled. 

In the time of the Rev. Mr. Hermance, a few brethren living in 
North Tarrytown, resolved on a separation from the old Society — and 
so occured the building of the new St. Paul's M. E. church, in that part 
of the town." 

There is also a Baptist church. 

Mr. Christopher Collins, the first projector of the Erie canal in 1805-6, 

a Extracts from a sermon delivered by the pastor, Rev. F. Bottome, on the anniversary of 
the church, Dec. 26, 1878. 


was for several years a resident of this place, and lies interred in the 
grave yard at Sleepy Hollow. 

Tarrytown is far famed as the place where Major Andre, adjutant 
general of the British army, was captured by Paulding and his associates 
upon the 23rd of September, 1780. The circumstances which led to 
the arrest of the spy were as follows : 

Major John Andre had been long negotiating with the American gen- 
eral, Arnold, to put the British general, Clinton, in possession of West 
Point. " This post," says Major General Greene, (who, it must be remem- 
bered, was president of the court that tried Andre,) " is a beautiful little 
place lying on the west bank of the Hudson, a little below where it 
breaks through the chain of mountains called the highlands. Its form 
is nearly circular, in half of its circumference defended by a precipice of 
great height, rising abruptly from the river, and on the other by a chain 
of rugged, inaccessible mountains. It is accessible by one pass only 
from the river, and that is narrow and easily defended; while on the land 
side it can be approached only at two points — by roads that wind through 
the mountains and enter it at the river bank on the north and south. 
Great importance had always been attached to this post by the Ameri- 
cans, and great labor and expense bestowed upon fortifying it. It has 
been well called the " Gibraltar of America." The North river had long 
been the great vein that supplied life to the American army, and had 
the enemy obtained possession of this post, besides the actual loss in 
men and stores, the American army would have been cut off from their 
principal resources in the ensuing winter, or been obliged to fall back 
above the Highlands, and leave all the country below open to conquest, 
while the communication between the eastern and western States would 
have been seriously interrupted if not wholly excluded. Arnold there- 
fore well knew the bearing of this post upon all the operations of the 
American army; and afterwards avowed his confident expectation, that 
had the enemy got possession of it, the contest must have ceased, and 
America been, subdued. 

The British general, Clinton, also appears to have appreciated the 
value of this post, and it is probable that the purchase of it had been 
arranged with Arnold some months prior to the detection of the plot. 
It was when Washington marched to Kings-bridge, with a view to the 
attempt on New York, and When he had mustered under him every man 
who could carry a musket, that he placed Arnold in command of a corps 
of invalids at West Point. 

The commander-in-chief had offered him a command suitable to his 
jrank and reputation in the army ; but he made the unhealed state of his 


wounds, and some other causes, the pretext for declining it — as the 
negotiations for the surrender of West Point had already commenced. 
Soon after the relinquishment of the enterprise against New York, a 
meeting was concerted to take place between the American commander- 
in-chief and the French military and naval commanders. Hartford, on 
the Connecticut river, was the place assigned for their meeting; the 
object was to consult on their future joint operations. Upon the depar- 
ture of Washington for this meeting, Greene was placed in command of 
the main army. This was on the 17th of September, 1780. On the 
eighteenth, Admiral Rodney arrived in New York with such an over- 
whelming reinforcement to the British navy as must have set the con- 
sultations at Hartford all at nought. From that time Greene's communica- 
tions to the President of Congress are full of the hurried preparations 
going on at New York for some important enterprise ; little did he, or 
any other person suspect to what point that enterprise was directed. 

It appears that General Greene had established a regular communi- 
cation for obtaining intelligence from the city by spies ; and his corres- 
pondents in that place were at loss whether the expedition was intended 
for Rhode Island or Virginia. To one or other of these places the 
enemy had been careful to throw out hints, or exhibit appearances, that 
the expedition was directed. 

Yet Green was not deceived; for in a letter on the 21st (just two days 
before the discovery of. the plot) to General Washington, he writes, 

* Colonel ■ communicated the last intelligence we have from 

New York ; since that, I have not been able to obtain the least inform- 
ation of what is going on there. Though we have people in from three 
different quarters, none of them returning, makes me suspect some 
secret expedition is in contemplation, the success of which depends alto- 
gether upon its being kept a secret." 

The British commander had now become sensible that no time was 
to be lost ; as, most probably, on the return of Washington from Hart- 
ford, he would assume the command in person at West Point, or confide 
it to Greene. The present, therefore, was the most favorable time that 
would ever present itself* 

Andre was, accordingly, dispatched in the Vulture, sloop of war, to 
hold a personal conference with General Arnold. The Vulture ascended 
the Hudson river on the 20th, as far as Teller's Point, and came to 
anchor at the mouth of the Haverstraw bay. Here Andre eagerly awaited 
some opportunity to acquaint Arnold with his arrival. An occasion for 
so doing presented itself the next day. A white flag was displayed at 
a See Barnum's Spy Unmasked. 


Teller's Point by some of the country people, which, being interpreted 
us they wished, the captain of the Vulture sent off a boat with a flag, 
which was fired upon as soon as it approached the shore. This gave 
Andre the opportunity he desired, as it was a proper subject for a re- 
monstrance to the commanding officer ; and a flag with a letter was 
accordingly dispatched. The letter was dated on the 21st Sept. ; it was 
in the handwriting of Andre, signed by the captain of the vessel, and 
countersigned "John Anderson." (Andre's assumed name.) This flag 
was sent to Verplank's Point. Arnold arrived just as the boat returned 
to the Vulture. The letter was handed to him, and, of course, fully 
understood ; thereupon he hastened to prepare Smith for a visit to the 
enemy's vessel on the approaching night. Crossing from Verplank's 
to Stony Point he made all the requisite arrangements respecting the 
boat that Smith would want, and then proceeded to his quarters to re- 
move the difficulty which had occurred respecting boatmen. The guard 
boats had received orders not to stop Smith, and he also possessed the 
countersign for the next night, which was the word " Congress." In the 
morning Smith brought his tenant — Samuel Colquhoun, to a conference 
with Arnold, who requested him to accompany his landlord on a visit 
that night to the Vulture!'' The man at first refused, but at last con- 
sented to go with his brother, Joseph Colquhoun, and Smith. They 
were directed by Arnold to muffle the oars ;. and, thus prepared, about 
midnight, the boat arrived at the Vulture. The noise made by the 
officer on watch, and the sailors in their hailing the boat, was heard be- 
low, and a boy sent up with orders that the man should be shown into 
the cabin, supposing him to be Arnold. Smith descended, and found 
his old acquaintance, Beverly Robinson. A letter from Arnold was 
presented to the Colonel, in which he said, "This will be delivered to 
you by Mr. Smith, who will conduct you to a place of safety. Neither 
Mr. Smith nor any other person shall be made acquainted with your 
proposals ; if they (which I doubt not) are of such a nature that I can 
officially take notice of them, I shall do it with pleasure. I take it for 
granted, Colonel Robinson will not propose anything that is not for the 
interest of the United States, as well as of himself." Smith had like- 
wise two papers signed by Arnold, which he showed to Robinson; one, 
a permission to pass and repass with a boat to Dobb's Ferry, the other 
a permission to Joshua Smith, Mr. John Anderson and two servants, to 
pass and repass the guards near King's Ferry at all times. By these 
papers Colonel Robinson understood that Arnold expected Andre to 
come on shore. Smith was left with the captain of the vessel for about 
a quarter of an hour, when Robinson returned with a person whom he 


introduced as Mr. Anderson. He excused himself from going ashore, 
but this person would go in his stead, and was competent to the trans- 
action of the business. Andre, although in his uniform, was so com- 
pletely enveloped in a blue great-coat, that Smith (if we believe his as- 
sertions) did not suspect his real name or character. 

Smith and Andre descended into the boat, where the Colquhouns 
awaited them. They were landed at the foot of a mountain called the 
Long Clove, on the western margin of the river, about six miles 
below Stony Point. The Vulture lay between the place and Teller's 
Point. Here Arnold was in attendance on horseback, with another 
horse brought by a servant of Smith's. It was perfectly dark, and 
Smith, knowing tbe spot designated by Arnold, groped his way up the 
bank, and found the commander of West Point concealed among the 
trees and bushes." 

Smith was sent back for his companion ; and, having introduced him, 
was requested to retire to the boat, where he remained ill at ease and 
watchful, while the Colquhouns, conscience-free, slept soundly through 
the remainder of the night. The conference appeared unnecessarily 
long to Mr. Smith, and he retraced his way to give notice of the ap- 
proach of morning, and the necessity of departing before daylight ap- 

The conspirators had exhausted the night, and their business was not 
yet completed. It was agreed that the boat should be dismissed and 
sent up the river. Andre consented to mount a led horse brought to 
the Clove with Arnold, and to accompany him to Smith's house, there 
to remain through the day, and to return to the sloop of war next night. 
It was still dark, and, as Andre asserts, the voice of the sentinel de- 
manding the countersign, was the first indication to the adjutant-general 
that he was within the American lines. About the break of day, the 
conspirators arrived at Smith's house. He had proceeded with the 
boat to Crown Island, in Haverstraw creek, and, dismissing the Colqu- 
houns, joined Arnold. To the alarm of the group, a cannonade was 
very soon heard ; and, from the window, Andre beheld that the Vulture 
was in peril from the guns, and saw her obliged to weigh anchor and 
stand down the river. In an upper apartment in Smith's house, the spy 
and the traitor viewed this unexpected incident, and Sir Henry Clinton's 
adjutant general, no doubt, felt for a time, that the net prepared for 
others was closing around him. It is to be supposed that the com- 
mander of West Point reassured him, and, after breakfast, Smith left 

a Smith's words are, "hid among the flrs." 


liim to finish "the plot of treachery" between them; it was understood 
that Arnold was to receive a stipulated sum. The day "fixed upon, 
Andre was to return to New York, and the British troops (already em- 
barked under the pretence of an expedition to Chesapeake) were to 
be ready to ascend the river. Arnold. was to weaken the post of West 
Point by such a disposition of the garrison as would yield it an easy 
prey to the troops brought against it. 

Every preliminary was settled, and the spy furnished with all the 
papers explanatory of the condition of the post, and the manner in 
which its force was to be rendered unavailable, and its garrison betrayed 
to death or captivity. Andre required to be put in safety on board the 
Vulture; to this Arnold assented, and, although a different route was 
proposed, yet Andre supposed he was to be sent on board the attending 
sloop of war. Before Arnold left Smith's house, he urged him to go 
with Andre on board the Vulture as soon as it was dark; but, as if to 
provide for obstacles, he sent two passes for Smith ; the one a permis- 
sion to go " with a boat, three hands and a flag, to Dobb's Ferry, on 
public business, and return immediately ; " the other, to pass the guards 
to the White Plains, and return. To this was added a third, as follows : 

" Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 
Sept. 22d, 1780. 
" Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass the guards to the White Plains, or below, 
if he chooses ; he being on public business by my direction. 

"B. Arnold, M. Gen." 

A miserable day was passed by the spy in solitude, and, when 
evening came, Smith positively refused to go on board the Vulture ; . 
neither had he engaged any person to row the boat. The reason he 
gave was an attack of ague, but this did not prevent him, as will be 
seen, from accompanying Andre on horse-back in his nocturnal journey, 
or from crossing the river with him. Thus Andre was compelled to 
take the route Smith chose, which was to cross the river, and proceed in 
the direction of White Plains. The uniform coat of the adjutant gen- 
eral was left at Smith's house ; and with a coat of Smith's, covered by a 
dark great-coat, with " a wide cape, and buttoned close to the neck," 
Andre was equipped for the journey. Accordingly, in the morning, he 
and Smith proceeded to King's Ferry. 

On the way, Smith endeavored to draw his companion into conver- 
sation, but without success. He was reserved and thoughtful. On the 
contrary, Smith accosted several of his acquaintances on the road ; and 
even stopped at a sutler's tent, and joined in discussing a bowl of punch, 


while Andre walked his horse slowly to the ferry alone, and there waited 
Smith's arrival. 

As they passed through the works at Verplanck's Point, Smith rode 
up to Colonel Livingston's tent, while Andre, and a servant who attend- 
ed him, (a negro of Smith's,) rode on. To the Colonel's inquiries, Smith 
said he was going up the country, and took charge of letters for General 
Arnold and Governor Clinton. He excused himself from stopping, as a 
gentleman waited for him whose business was urgent. He then over- 
took his charge, and they proceeded until between eight and nine at 
night, when they were hailed by the sentinel of a patrolling party. 
This was near Crompond, and about eight miles from Verplanck's Point. 
The sentinel ordered them to stop, and Smith dismounted, gave the 
bridle of his horse to his servant, walked forward, and inquired who com- 
manded the party. He was answered, ' Captain Boyd,' who, overhear- 
ing the conversation, immediately appeared. The captain was unusually 
inquisitive, and demanded of him who he was, where he belonged, and 
what was his business. Smith answered these questions promptly, add- 
ing that he had a pass from General Arnold, and desired not to be de- 
tained. The captain was not yet satisfied, but inquired how far he 
meant to go that night; to which he replied, as far as Major Strang's or 
Colonel Drake's ; but this only increased the embarrassment, for the 
captain informed him that Major Strang was not at home, and Colonel 
Drake had removed to another part of the country. 

Captain Boyd then said that he must see the passport ; and, it being 
dark, they went to a house at a small distance to procure a light. 
Andre began to be a little alarmed, and advanced with reluctance 
towards the house, till he was encouraged by Smith, who assured him 
that Arnold's pass would certainly protect them. 

And so it proved; for the pass was expressed in positive terms, and 
there was no room to doubt its genuineness or its authority. 

The captain was afterwards more bland in his manner, but the ardor 
of his curiosity was not diminished. He took Smith aside, and begged 
to be informed of this important business which carried him down so 
near the enemy's lines, and induced him and his companion to travel so 
dangerous a road in the night. As an apology for this inquiry, he mani- 
fested a good deal of concern for their safety ; telling him that the cow- 
boys had recently been out, and were believed then to be far up the 
country — and he advised him by all means not to proceed till morning. 
Smith prevaricated as well as he could, saying to Captain Boyd, that 
he and his fellow-traveler, whom he called Mr. Anderson, were em- 
ployed by General Arnold to procure intelligence; that they expected to 


meet a person, near White Plains for that purpose, and that it was 
necessary for them to go forward as expeditiously as possible. 

Upon this statement Captain Boyd seemed more anxious than ever ; 
magnified the perils to which they would be exposed by traveling in the 
night, and recommended anew that they should turn back to one An- 
dreas Miller's, who lived but a little way off, and at whose house they 
might lodge. Smith's courage was somewhat damped by these repre- 
sentations, and he went and told the tale to Andre, counselled with him 
as to the steps they ought to take. It is possible, also, that he had fears 
of exciting suspicion, if he hesitated in resisting the Captain's zeal ex- 
pressed so earnestly in their behalf. Andre, as it may well be imagined, 
not being very easy in his present situation, was for going on at all 
events. When Smith found his fears unheeded and his eloquence un- 
availing, he called in the aid of Captain Boyd, and inquired of him 
which was the safest road to White Plains. Boyd considered both roads 
perilous, but believed the one through North Castle the least so ; for the 
lower party, or cow-boys, infested the Tarrytown road, and had lately 
done mischief in that quarter. He used various arguments to dissuade 
them from going farther that night, to which Smith listened with open 
ears ; and he resolved, against the will of Andre, to trespass on the hos- 
pitality of Andreas Miller. 

They met with a welcome reception ; but coming at a late hour to an 
humble dwelling, their accommodations were narrow and the two trav- 
elers were obliged to sleep in the same bed. 

According to Smith's account, it was a weary and restless night to 
his companion. The burden on his thoughts was not of a kind to lull 
them to repose; and the place of his retreat so near the watchful Cap- 
tain Boyd and his guard, was hardly such as would impress upon him a 
conviction of perfect security. 

At the first dawn of light he roused himself from his troubled slumber, 
wakened the servant, and ordered the horses to be prepared for an early 

Having solicited their host in vain to receive a compensation for the 
civilities he had rendered, they mounted and took the road leading to 
Pine's Bridge,* which crosses the Croton River on the way to North 
Castle. The countenance of Andre brightened, when he was fairly be- 
yond the reach of the patrolling party; and, as he thought, he left behind 
him the principal difficulties in his route. His cheerfulness revived, and 
he conversed, in the most animated and agreeable strain, upon a great 

a Spark's Life of Arnold, 214, 215, 216, 217. 


variety of topics. Smith professes to have been astonished at the sud- 
den and extraordinary change which appeared in him, from a gloomy 
taciturnity to an exuberant flow of spirits, pleasantry and gay discourse. 
He talked upon poetry, the arts, and literature; lamented the war, and 
hoped for a speedy peace."* As they passed Major Strang's house, two 
miles below Yorktown church, they were observed by its inmates, who 
supposed them to be Continental officers. "In this manner they passed 
along without being accosted by any person, till they came within two 
miles and a half of Pine's Bridge. At this place Smith had determined 
to end his journey in the direction of White Plains. The Cow-boys, 
whom he seemed anxious to avoid, had recently been above the bridge, 
and the territory below was considered their appropriate domain. The 
travellers partook of a frugal breakfast together, at the house of a good 
Dutch woman, who had been plundered by three marauders, but who was 
yet enabled to set before them a repast of hasty pudding and milk. & - 
This being dispatched, Smith divided his small stock of paper money 
with Andre, took a final leave, and, with his servant, hastened back to 
Peekskill, and the same evening to Fishkill, where he had left his family 
four days before, at the house of his brother-in-law. On his way, he 
took the road leading to Robinson's house, where he called on General 
Arnold, and dined. He gave an account of Andre's progress, and men- 
tioned the place where he had left him, with which Arnold appeared well 
pleased. It is to be understood, however, that Smith had not, at this 
time, as he always affirmed, any knowledge of Andre's true character, 
and that he supposed his name to be John Anderson. 

The Cora-boys were a set of people, mostly, if not wholly, refugees, 
belonging to the British side, and engaged in plundering cattle near the 
lines, and driving them to New York. The name indicates their voca- 
tion. There was another description of banditti, called Skinners, who 
lived, for the most part, within the American lines, and professed attach- 
ment to the American cause; but, in reality, they were more unprinci- 
pled, perfidious and inhuman than the Cow-boys themselves; for these 
latter exhibited some symptoms of fellow feeling for their friends, — 
whereas, the Skinners committed their depredations equally upon friends 
and foes. 

By a law of the State of New York, every person refusing to take an 
oath of fidelity to the State was considered as forfeiting his property. 
The large territory between the American and British lines, extending 

a Ibid. 217. 

b This was not a Dutch woman, as the historian supposes ; but Mrs. Sarah Underbill, wife 
■of Isaac Underbill, of Yorktown, whose grandson, Edward Borough Underbill, still owns the 
nouse.— Editok. 


nearly thirty miles from north to south, and embracing Westchester 
county, was populous and highly cultivated. A person living within 
that space, who took the oath of fidelity, was sure to be plundered by 
the Cow-boys; and if he did not take it, the Skinners would come down 
upon him, call him a tory, and seize his property as confiscated by the 
State. Thus the execution of the laws was assumed by robbers, and 
the innocent and guilty were involved in a common ruin. 

"It is true the civil authority endeavored to guard against these out- 
rages, so far as it could, by legislative enactments and executive procla- 
mations; but, from the nature of the case, this formidable conspiracy 
against the rights and claims of humanity could be crushed only by a 
military arm. The detachments of Continental troops and militia, 
stationed near the lines, did something to lessen the evil, yet they were 
not adequate to- its suppression, and frequently this force was so feeble 
as not to afford any barrier to the inroads of the banditti. 

" The Ski?iners and Cow-boys often leagued together. The former 
would sell their plunder to the latter, taking in exchange contraband 
articles brought from New York. It was not uncommon for the farce 
of a skirmish to be acted near the American lines, in which the Skin- 
ners never failed to come off victorious; and then they would go boldly 
to the interior with their booty, pretending it had been captured from 
the enemy while attempting to smuggle it across the lines. 

" Such was the social condition of that part of the country through 
which Andre was now to pass alone, for nearly thirty miles, before he 
could be perfectly secure from danger ; for, although every step dimin- 
ished the chances of untoward accidents, yet there was no absolute 
safety till he was beyond the limits of this ill-fated neutral ground."* 

"But Andre had the American general's pass to produce to the one, 
and his true character to protect him from the other. Still he could 
not but feel that his situation was one of peril. The remarks he had 
heard from the captain of the patrol on the preceding night, seems to 
have induced the adjutant-general to take the Tarrytown road, as the 
one most frequented by the Cow-boys ; for it was understood by Smith 
that he would proceed toward White Plains. Upon what apparently 
chance circumstances the fate of individuals, and armies, and States, ap- 
pears to depend ! Had this bearer of ruin to thousands proceeded on the 
road at first intended, he probably would have accomplished the treason 
in safety to himself; but a few words uttered at random by the American 
officer, to Smith, respecting the danger of the road nearest the Hudson, 

a Sparks' Life of Arnold, 218, 19, 20, 21. 


determined the spy to turn that way, as most frequented by his friends, 
— and by that heaven-directed turn, impending ruin was averted, and 
the lives of thousands saved." From Pine's Bridge, the adjutant-gen- 
eral of the British army followed the Crum Pond road, which passed the 
house of Mr. Staats Hammond. The son of this gentleman, David 
Hammond, of North Castle was living in, (1847.) at an advanced age. 
He related, that on the day Andre was taken, he was standing at the 
door of his father's residence, upon the Crum Pond road, when he ob- 
served a person approaching on horseback, leisurely walking his horse. 
As he rode up, he observed the stranger to be closely enveloped in a 
light blue swan's down cloak, with high military boots, and a low-crowned 
and broad brimmed hat on his head. The animal he bestrode was a 
beautiful bay, bitted with a handsome double snaffle bridle; the mane 
particularly about the head, being thickly matted with burs. The stran- 
ger immediately asked for a drink of water. It deserves to be noticed, 
in connection with this incident, that Mr. Hammond's father — who was 
lying, at the time, badly wounded on the floor — caught a glimpse of the 
stranger, whom he pronounced to be a spy, from the fact of his being 
enveloped in the manner described. 

David Hammond, having procured a drinking vessel, accompanied by 
his sister, led the way to the adjoining well. Here the girl drew the 
water, which was offered to the stranger, who requested David to hold 
the bridle whilst he drank. After satisfying his thirst, he turned toward 
Mrs. Hammond, and asked the distance to Tarrytown; she replied, 
"Four miles." "I did not think it was so far," said he. 

At Chappequa, in the vicinity of Underbill's tavern, the spy encoun- 
tered several Quakers. From them he again inquired the road, at the 
same time asking whether any troops were out below, &c. 

At the foot of the Chappequa roads the adjutant-general selected that 
which leads to the river. Following this, he came out in the Albany 
post road, near the village of Sparta. He had now securely passed 
about eleven miles of the neutral ground, and approached within a few 
hundred yards of the Hudson without interruption, and probably felt 
himself beyond the reach of detection. 

A little north of Tarrytown, the road crosses a small brook, (now 
called the Andre brook. ) A few rods from this spot a period was put to 
the journey of the spy and the progress of the treason. 

On this fated morning some of the inhabitants of Westchester had by 
agreement taken their arms, and proceeded to the neighborhood of this 
brook and bridge, to prevent cattle from being driven down towards 
New York, and to seize as a loyal prize any such cows or oxen as might 




l)e destined for his majesty's troops by their friends. This patriotic band 
of seven had volunteered of their own account to go upon this expedition 
the day previous, Sept. 2 2d, 1780. John Yerks, (who was still living in 
the town of Mount Pleasant, in 1847, aged eighty-eight,) says that he pro- 
posed this excursion to John Paulding, both of them being at that time 
stationed in North Salem. The latter at first objected; but, upon further 
consideration, volunteered his services, provided they could induce a 
sufficient number to accompany them. This, Yerks assured him, could 
be easily accomplished, and offered to procure the men; while Paulding 
should obtain the necessary permit from the commanding officer. Yerks 
had in the meantime enlisted three volunteers, viz. : Isaac See, James 
Romer and Abraham Williams. Paulding soon after returned with the 
permit, accompanied by his friend, Isaac Van Wart. The party now 
consisting of six, took the direct road for Cross river. Here they were 
joined by David Williams from Bedford. From Cross river they pro- 
ceeded to Pleasantville, formerly Clark's Corner, where they halted for 
the night. From a lady by the name of Mrs. Powell, (who had recently 
arrived at this place from Morrisania,) the volunteers ascertained that 
the British horse from Long Island, New Jersey and New York had ad- 
vanced from the Island into the neighborhood of Boar hill, Yonkers. 

Whilst Andre slept at Crum Pond, our volunteers turned into a hay 
barrack, (then standing a few yards from the present Methodist church,) 
at Pleasantville. 

Up by times the next morning, the party followed the windings of the 
Saw Mill valley to the house of Capt. Jacob Romer, where they obtained 
breakfast and a basket well provided for their dinner. From this place 
they marched to the hill immediately above Tarrytown. Here it was 
agreed that three of the number, viz. : Paulding, Van Wart and David 
Williams, should go below, whilst the remaining four should watch the 
road above, with the full understanding, (according to Yerks,) that what- 
ever might be taken should be equally divided among the whole band. 

The upper party were stationed two hundred yards east on the hill 
above the lower party, the latter being concealed in the bushes near the 

At Smith's trial, (which was by a court martial, and commenced the 
day after Andre's examination, Paulding and Williams gave the follow- 
ing testimony. Paulding said, "myself, Isaac Van Wart and David 
Williams, were lying by the side of the road about half a mile above 
Tarrytown, and about fifteen miles above King's Bridge, on Saturday 
morning between nine and ten o'clock, on the 23d of September. We had 
lain there about one hour and a half, as near as I can recollect, and saw 


several persons we were acquainted with, whom we let pass. Presently 
one of the young men who were with me, said, ' There comes a gentle- 
man-like looking man who appears to be well dressed and has boots on, 
and whom you had better step out and stop, if you don't know him. 
(The party must have observed Andre rising the hill out of Sleepy Hol- 
low; when first observed, he was walking his horse.) On that, I got up 
and presented my firelock at the breast of the person and told him to 
stand, and then I asked him which way he was going? 'Gentlemen,' 
said he, ' I hope you belong to our party.' I asked him what party. He 
said 'the lower party.' Upon that, I told him I did. Then he said, 'I 
am a British officer out of the country on particular business, and I hope 
you will not detain me a minute ; ' and to show that he was a British 
officer he pulled out his watch, upon which I told him to dismount. 
He then said, ' My God ! I must do anything to get along,' and seemed 
to make a kind of laugh of it, and pulled out General Arnold's pass, 
which was to John Anderson to pass all the guards to White Plains and 
below; upon that he dismounted. Said he, 'Gentlemen, you had best 
let me go, or you will bring yourselves into trouble ; for your stopping 
me will detain the General's business, and said he was going to 
Dobb's Ferry to meet a person there, and get intelligence for General 

" Upon that I told him I hoped he would not be offended, that we 
did not mean to take any thing from him. And I told him there were 
many bad people who were going along the road, and I did not know 
but perhaps he might be one." Mr. Paulding said further that he asked 
the unknown gentleman his name, and he answered, " John Anderson." 
That on seeing General Arnold's pass he should have let him go, if he 
had not previously said he was a British officer ; (there was yet another 
circumstance which tended greatly to increase their suspicions, viz : that 
his pass was for White Plains and not the Tarrytown road;) and that 
when he pulled out his watch, he understood it as a confirmation of that 
assertion, and not as offering it to him. 

Mr. Williams confirmed the above statement with these particulars : 
" We took him into the bushes, and ordered him to pull off his clothes, 
which he did ; but, on searching him narrowly, we could not find any 
sort of writings. We told him to pull off his boots, which he seemed 
indifferent about ; but we got one boot off, and searched in that boot, 
and could find nothing. But we found there were some papers in the 
bottom of his stocking next to his foot, on which we made him pull his 
stockings off, and found three papers wrapped up. Mr. Paulding looked 
at the contents, and said he was a spy. We then made him pull off his- 


i, 310 


other boot, and there we found three more papers at the bottom of his 
foot within his stocking." 

The following letters and documents were found in the stockings of 
Major Andre : — 


[From the originals in the possession of Colonel Beeckman, (a) of Flatbush, Long Island.] 
a Col. Beeckman is the grandson and lineal decendant of Governor George Clinton. 

No. 1. — Pass. 

Pass from General Arnold, dated September 20, 1780, to Joshua Smith and Mr 
John Anderson, to pass the guards at King's Ferry. 

Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 
September 20, 1780. 
Permission is given to Joshua Smith, Esquire, a gentleman, Mr. John Ander- 
son, who is with him, and his two servants, to pass and repass the guards near 
King's Ferry at all times. 

(Signed,) B. Arnold, M. Gen'l. 

No. 2. 
[Endorsed,] Sept. 22, 1780. 

Pass to Joshua Smith to pass the White Plains. 

Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 
September 22, 1780. 
Joshua Smith, Esq., has permission to pass the Guards to the White Plains, 
and to return, being on public business, by my direction. 

(Signed,) B. Arnold, M. Gen'l. 

No. 3. 
[Letter endorsed to] 

"Thomas Smith, Esq., Haverstraw. " 

Robinson's House, Sept. 25th, 1780. 
Dear Brother : — I am here a prisoner, and am therefore unable to attend in 
person. I would be obliged to you if you would deliver to Captain Cairns, of 
Lee's Dragoons, a Britisn Uniform Coat, which you will find in one of the 
drawers in the room above stairs. I would be happy to see you. Remember me 
to your family. I am. affectionately, yours, 

(Signed,) Joshua H. Smith. . 

Thomas Smith, Esq. 

No. 4. 
[Endorsed,] Memo. 

Hennirut, [a word not intelligible.] 
Elijah Hunter. 

Mr. I. Johnson, B. R r. 

Mr. J. Stewart, to the care of Joshua Smith Esq., to be left at Head Q'rs. 
Isaac Adams, 5 „ 5 ,, 5. 


No. 5. 

Gen'l Arnold's permission to Joshua Smith. 

21 Sep. 1780. 
to Dobb's Ferry, 

iVc. &c. 
Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 
Sept. 21, 1780. 
Permission is granted to Joshua Smith, Esq., to go to Dobb's Ferry with 
three Men and a Boy in a Boat with a Flag to carry some Letters of a private 
Nature for Gentlemen in New York and to Return immediately. 

(Signed,) B. Arnold, M. Gen'l. 

N. B. — He has permission to go at such hours and times as the tide and his 
business suits. 

No. 6. 
[Endorsed,] Sept. 22, 1780. 

Pass to Joshua Smith to pass Dobb's Ferry. 

Head Quarters, Hobinson House, 
Sept. 22, 1780. 
Joshua Smith, Esq. has permission to pass with a Boat aud three hands and a 
flag to Dobb's Ferry on Public business and to return immediately. 

(Signed,) B. Arnold, M. Gen'l. 

No. 7. 
[Endorsed,] Arnold to John Anderson — Pass. 

22d Sept. 1780. 
Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 
Sept. 22, 1780. 
Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass the Guards to the Wliite Plains, or below, 
if He Choses, He being on Public Business by my Direction. 

B. Arnold, M. Gen'l. 

[In Arnold's hand-writing.] 
"Gustavus to John Anderson." 

The following document is one of the highest importance to the 

British, inasmuch as " in case of alarm" it made the British — who would 

have caused the alarm — fully acquainted with the disposition of all the 

American forces in that vicinity, and thus enable them to conduct an 

attack to the best advantage. It is, of course, in the traitor's own 

hand-writing : — 

No. 9. 

Artillery Orders, Sept. 5th, 1780. 

Wst Point, Sept. 5, 1780. 
Artillery Orders. 

The following disposition of the corps is to take place in Case of an alarm. 

Capt. Dannills with his comp'y at Fort Putnam, and to Detach an Officer 
with 12 men to Wyllys's Redoubt, a non Commissioned Officer, with 3 men to 
Webb's Redoubt, and the like number to Redoubt No. 4. 


Capt. Thomas and Company to repair to Fort Arnold. 

Capt. Simmons and Company to remain at the North and South Redoubts, at 
the East side of the River, until further orders. 

Lieut. Barber, with 20 men of Capt. Jackson's Company will repair to Con- 
stitution Island ; the remainder of the Company with Lieut. Mason's wiU repair 
to Arnold. 

Capt. Lieut. George and Lieut. Blake with 20 men of Capt. Treadwell's Com- 
pany, will repair to Redoubt No. 1 and 2, the remainder of the Company will be 
sent to Fort Arnold. 

Late Jones's Company with Lieut. Fisk to repair to the South Battery. 

The Chain Battery Sherburn's Redoubt, and the Brass Field pieces will be 
manned from Fort Arnold as Occasion may require. 

The Commissary and Conductor of Military stores will in turn wait upon the 
Commanding Officer of Artillery for Orders. 

The Artificers in the Garrison, (agreeable to former Orders,) will repair to 
Fort Arnold, and their receive further Orders from the Command'g Officer of 
Artillery, J. Bauman Major Comm't Artillery. 

No. 10. 
[Endorsed,] [In the Traitor's own hand.] 

Estimate of the Forces at West Point, and its dependencies, 
Sept. 1780. 
Estimate of the Forces at W'st Point and its dependencies, Sept. 13th, 1780 
A Brigade of Massachusetts Malitia and two Regiments of Rank and 
file New Hampshire Inclusion of 166 Batteaux Men at Verplanks 
and Stoney Points, 992 

On command and Extra Service at Fish Kills, New Windsor, &c. &c, 

who may be called in occationally, 852 

3 Regiments of Connecticut Militia under the Com'd of Colonel Wells 

on the lines near N. Castle, 488 

A Detachment of N. York Levies on the lines, 115 

Militia 2447 

Colonel Lamb's Regiment 167 

Colonel Livington at Verplank and Stony Fts 80 

Continent.- 247 
Colonel Sheldon's Dragoons on. the lines about one-half mounted 142 

Batteaux Men and Artificers 250 

;No. 11. Total 3086 

[In Arnold's hand.] 

Estimate of Men to Man the Works at West Point, &c. 
Sep'r 1780. 
Estimate of the Number of men Necessary to Man the Works at West Point 
and in the Vicinity. 
Fort Arnold 620 

Putnam 450 

Wyllys 140 

Webb 140 



Redoubt No ; 1 
ditto 2 

ditto 3 

ditto 4 

ditto 5 

ditto 6 

ditto 7 

North Redoubt 
South Redoubt 

N. B. 

Total 2438 
Villepance, Engineer. 
The Artillery Men are not Included in the above Estimate, 

M& Moo S3 H g ~5 cuas g. a 

£.30 t- '— i a & ST °o K" S- & ^ P o 

co ' ' " 3- «■ 2 S h • • & • • 

o- - - - & " o 

(3 S* 


5S Garrison Carnages 

Travelling do. 

I <° © £t S 

Garrison Carriages 
Stocked ditto 
Garrison Carriages 

( tarrison Carriages 

Stocked ditto 
Travelling ditto 
Garrison Carriages 

Travelling ditto 

Travelling ditto 

Inches. ^ 






3. <T> 


W rf». o» (0 t« ■*• (j 

Ofts.9,2 ™ s> 
o o o o g 2. 2. 











































































" The virulence and malice of Arnold's treachery are no where more 
manifest and detestable than in the following document. See how the 
arch fiend exposes the weakness of the forts — the ease with which they 
could be set on fire — the facilities of approach — the commanding 
heights and rising grounds, &c. The whole, too, an expose intended ex- 
pressly for the British ; and yet endorsed as if it had been a memoran- 
dum for his own private use, and for General Washington : 

No. 12. 
[In the traitor's own hand.] 

Remarks on works at Wt. Point, a copy to be transmitted to His Excell'y Gen- 
eral Washington. 
Sepr. 1780. 

Fort Arnold is built of Dry Fascines and Wood, is in a ruinous condition, in- 
complete, and subject to take Fire from Shells or Canasses. 

Fort Putnam, stone, wanting great repairs, the wall on the East side broke 
down, and rebuilding From the Foundation at the West and South side have 
been a Chevaux de Frise on the Wst side broke in many places. The East side 
open, two Boom Proof and Provision Magazine in the Fort, and slight Wooden 
Barrack. — A commanding piece of ground 500 yards West between the Fort 
and No. 4— or Rocky Hill. — 

Fort Webb Built of Fascines and Wood, a slight Work very dry and liable to 
be set on fire as the approaches are very easy, without defences save a slight aba- 

Fort Wyllys built of stone 5 feet high the work above plank filled with Earth 
and stone work 15 feet the Earth 9 feet thick. — No Bomb Proofs, the Batteries 
without the Fort. 

Redoubt No. 1. On the south side wood nine feet thick, the Wt. North and 
East sides 4 feet thick, no cannon in the works, a slight and single Abatters, no 
ditch or pickett. Cannon on two batteries. No Bomb Proofs. 

Redoubt No. 2. The same as No. 1. No Bomb Proofs. 

Redoubt No. 2. A slight Wood Work 3 Feet thick very Dry no Bomb Proofs, 
a single Abatters, the work easily set on fire — no Cannon. 

Redoubt No. 4. A Wooden work about 10 feet high and four or five feet 
thick, the West side faced with a stone wall 8 feet high and four thick. No 
Bomb Proof, two six pounders, a slight Abatters, a commanding piece of ground 
500 yards Wt. 

The North Redoubt on the East side built of stone 4 feet high, above the stone 
wood filled in with Earth, Very Dry, no ditch, a Bomb Proof, three Batteries 
without the Fort, a poor Abatters, a Rising piece of ground 500 yards. So, the 
approaches Under Covor to within 20 yards. — The Work easily fired with Fag- 
gots diptd in Pitch, &c. 

South Redoubt much the same as the North a Commanding piece of ground 
500 yards due East — 3 Batteries without the Fort. 

"The following document explains itself: — ■ 


No. 13. 

[In Arnold's hand-writing.] 

Copy of a Council of Wac, held Sept. 6th, 1780. 

At a Council of War, held in Camp Bergen County Sept. 6th, 1780. 

Present — the Commander-in-Chief. 

The Commander-in-Chief states to the Council, that since he had the honor 
of laying before the General Officers, at Morristown, the 6th of June last, a gen- 
eral view of our circumstances, several important events have occurred which 
have materially changed the prospects of the Campaign. 

That the success expected from France, instead of coming out in one body and 
producing a Naval Superiority in these Seas, has been divided into two Divisions, 
the first of which only consisting of seven ships of the line, one forty-four and 
three smaller Frigates, with five thousand land Forces, had arrived at Rhode 

That a reinforcement of six ships of the line from England having reinforced 
the Enemy, had made their Naval Force in these seas amount to Nine Sail of the 
Line, Two Fifties, two forty-fours, and a number of smaller Frigates, a Force 
completely superior to that of our Allies, and which has in consequence held 
them Blocked up in the harbor of Rhode Island till the 29th ult., at which 
Period the British Fleet disappeared, and no advice of them has since been re- 

That accounts received by the Alliance Frigate, which left France in July, an- 
nounce the Second Division to be Confined in Brest with several other Ships by 
a British Fleet of thirty-two Sail of the hue, and a Fleet of the Allies, of Thirty- 
six, or thirty-eight Ships of the line ready to put to sea from Cadiz to relieve 
the Port of Brest. 

That most of the States "in their answers to the requisitions made of them , give 
the strongest assurances of doing every thing in their power to furnish the men 
and supplies required for the expected Co-operation. The effect of which, how- 
ever, has been far short of our expectations, for not much above one-third of 
the Levies demanded for the Continental Battallions, nor above the same pro- 
portion of Militia have been assembled, and the Supplies have been so inade- 
quate that there was a necessity for dismissing all the Militia, whose immediate 
services could be dispensed with to lessen our Consumption, notwithstanding 
which the Troops now in the Field are severely suffering for want of Provision. 

That the army at this Post and in the vicinity in operating Force consists of 
10,400 Continental Troops and about 400 Militia, besides which is a Regiment of 
Continental Troops of about 500 at Rhode Islsnd left there for the assistance of 
our Allies, against any attempt of the Enemy that way, and two Connecticut 
State Regiments amounting to 800 at North Castle. 

That the Times for Service for which the Levies are Engaged will expire the 
first of January which, if not replaced, allowing for the usual Casualties, will re- 
duce the Continental Army to less than 6000 men. 

That since the state of the Council above referred to, the Enemy have brought 
a detachment of about 3000 men from Charles Town to New York, which makes 
the present operating Force in this Quarter between Ten and Eleven Thousand 


That the Enemies Force now in the Southern States has not been lately ascer- 
tained by any distinct accounts, but the General supposes it cannot be less than 
7,000 (of which about 2,000 are at Savannah) in this est^ ie: ;te the Diminution by 
the Casualties of the Climate, is supposed to be equal to >.he increase of Force 
derived from the Disaffected. 

That added to the loss of Charles Town and its Garrison accounts of a recent 
misfortune are just arrived from Major General Gates, giving advice of a gen- 
eral action which happened on the 16th of August near Campden, in which the 
army under his Command met with a total defeat, and in all probability the 
whole of the Continental Troops, and a considerable part of the Militia would be 
cut off. 

The State of Virginia has been sometime exerting itself to raise a Body of 
3,000 Troops to serve till the end of December, 1781, but how far it has succeed- 
ed is not known. 

That Maryland had resolved to raise 2,000 Men of which a sufficient number 
to compose one Battallion was to have come to this army. The remainder to 
recruit the Maryland line — but in consequence of the late advices, an order has 
been sent to march the whole Southward. 

That the Enemies Force in Canada, Halifax, St. Augustine, and at Penobscot, 
remains much the same as stated in the preceding Council. 

That there is still reason to believe the Court of France will prosecute its 
Original intention of giving effectual succor to this Country, as soon as circum- 
stances will permit ; and it is hoped the second Division will certainly arrive in 
the course of the fall. 

That a Fleet greatly superior to that of the Enemy in the West Indies, and a 
formidable land Force had sailed sometime since from Martinique to make a 
Combined attack upon the Island of Jamaica, that there is a possibility of a re- 
inforcement from this quarter also, to the Fleet of our Ally at Rhode Island. 

The Commander-in-Chief having thus given the Council a full view of our 
present situation and future prospects, requests the Opinion of each member, in 
writing, what plan it will be advisable to pursue, to what objects Our Attention 
ought to be directed in the course of this fall and winter, taking into considera- 
tion the alternative of having a Naval Superiority, whether any offensive opera- 
tions can be immediately undertaken and against what Point, what ought to be 
our immediate preparations and dispositions, particularly whether we can afford 
or ought to send any reinforcements from this army to the Southern States, and 
to what amount the General requests to be favored with these opinions by the 
10th instant at farthest. 

"This concludes the famous " Andre Papers." A more remarkable 
set of documents no man surely ever set foot on before. The papers 
themselves look yellow, are much crumpled and worn, and bear evident 
marks of age." a 

* * * * # * * * 

"Upon this, we made him dress himself and I asked him what he 
would give us to let him go. He said he would give us any sum of 

a New York Herald, 1842. 


money. I asked him whither he would give us his horse, saddle, bridle, 
watch and one hunched guineas. He said 'Yes,' and told us he would 
direct them to any \ .ace, even if it was that very spot, so that we could 
get them. I asked him whether he would not give us more. He said 
he would give us any quantity of Dry Goods, or any sum of money, and 
bring it to any place that we might pitch upon, so that we might get it. 
Mr. Paulding answered, ' No, if you would give us two thousand guineas 
you should not stir one step.' I then asked the person who had called 
himself John Anderson, if he would not get away if it lay in his power. 
He answered, 'Yes, I would.' I told him, I did not intend he should 
While taking him along, we asked him a few questions ; and we stopped 
under a shade. He begged us not to ask him questions and said 
when he came to any commander, he would reveal all. He was dressed 
in a blue over-coat and a tight body coat that was a kind of claret color, 
though a rather deeper red than claret. The button holes were laced 
with gold tinsel, and the buttons drawn over with the same kind of lace. 
He had on a round hat and nankeen waistcoat and breeches, with a 
flannel waistcoat and drawers, boots and thread stockings. According 
to John Yerks, the lower party were observed coming up the hill, 
Paulding" leading the horse, upon which Andre was mounted. As 
they halted, Paulding exclaimed, "we have got a prisoner," and immedi- 
ately ordered Andre to dismount. He then asked him for his watch, 
at the same time warning him not to make any attempt to escape ; for if 
he did he was a dead man. After a short interval, Paulding (who ap- 
pears to have been the master spirit upon this occasion,) ordered him to 
remount. They then led him off in the direction of North Castle, the 
nearest military post, where Lieut. Col. Jameson was stationed with a 
detachment of Sheldon's dragoons. The roads being carefully avoided, 
the party went with all speed across the fields, each taking their turns 
at the bridle, some marching on either side, the remainder bringing up 
the rear. During their progress to North Castle, the prisoner never spoke 
unless some question was asked; and then said but little in reply. On 
their route the party stopped for a short time at Jacob Romers, 6 (in the 

a Paulding hud effected his escape, only three days previous, from the New York Sugar 
House, iu the dress of a German yager. General Van Cortlandt states that Paulding wore 
this dress on the day of the capture, which tended to decieve Andre', and led him to exclaim, 
in answer to their reply, " Thank God, I am once more among friends." 

b Mr. J. S. Lee, of Beekman Town, relates the following anecdote : " When they captured 
Andre, tiny brought him up the old Bedford mad (now changed) till they came toa springof 
water near Hie earth-works that were cast up to defend the. river at the font of Kaackeout, a 
very high hill, having a commanding view; thence they took the fields across to the old 
White Plains' road (near where the county house now stands) to a small tavern feept by Isaac 
Reed and his wife Poiiv, (now known as the Landrine House) ; here they called for some- 
thing to eat; but Aunt Polly's curiosity was excited at the sight of the stranger, and she 
asked, ' Whohuv ■ you there? ' 'None of your business,' they replii d, 'Get us something to 
eat, in a hurry.' Sti • Hew around, and soon prepared some eggs and bacon, and thru again 
repeated her question, 'Who have you there?' They replied, 'O, never mind now.' Soon 


vicinity of the present poor-house,) where the captors took break- 
fast. The party again resumed their march, and within a short time 
arrived at North Castle. Here they delivered up their prisoner to Jame- 
son, with all the papers that had been taken from his stockings. a The 
prisoner was confined here in a small cottage, at present attached to the 
barn of Mr. Sands. Further details concerning the spy will be found in 
the respective towns, b 

Upon the delivery of their prisoner, the seven patriots returned to 
their different quarters, little imagining the importance of their prize. A 
little more than a month afterwards, (General Washington having re- 
commended the captors to Congress,) they received the following vote of 
thanks from that body : 

In Congress, November, 3, 1780. 

Whereas, Congress have received information that John Paulding, David Wil- 
liams and Isaac van Wart, three young volunteer militia men of the State of 
New York, did, on the 23d day of September last, intercept Major John Andre, 
adjutant general of the British army, on his return from the American line in 
the character of a spy; and notwithstanding the large bribes offered them for his 
release, nobly disdaining to sacrifice their country for the sake of gold, secured 
and conveyed him to the commanding officer of the district, whereby the danger- 
ous and traitorous conspiracy of Benedict Arnold was brought to bight, the in- 
sidious designs of the enemy baffled, and the United States rescued from impend- 
ing danger : 

Resolved, That Congress have a high sense of the virtuous and patriotic con- 
duct of the said John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac van Wart. In tes- 
timony whereof, Ordered, that each of them receive anuually out of the public 
treasury two hundred dollars in specie, or an equivalent in current money of 
these States, during life, and that the board of war procure for each of them a 

after they had left, one returned and said, ' Aunt Polly, can you keep a secret for an hour ? ' 
She thought she could. He then replied, ' We have a spy ; but don't mention it to any one for 
an hour, and then we shall be safe away.' As soon as they were gone, she felt an intense 
longing just to tell Mrs. Col. Hammond, living about a mile away. So she hurried about, 
caught the old horse, and gave him a feed of oats, to consume the time ; and then thought 
that by the time she was dressed, the hour would would have expired. But long before it 
had, she was ready ; and, mounting on the old horse, with a large poke bonnet, went flying to 
Col. Hammond's. Mrs. Hammond saw her coming, and ran to inquire the cause. She 
replied by taking off her bonnet and waving it around her head, crying : ' Hurrah ! hurrah ! ' 
' What, for God's sake, is the matter ? ' asked Mrs. Hammond. ' Hurrah ! They have taken a 

spy ! ' At which she dismounted ; and the two old ladies, taking each other's hands, 

danced for joy around the old horse. This attracted the attention of a neighboring tory who 
was passing, and he asked what it meant? They replied a spy had been captured. This 
was very rash, as the party were not more than 2 or 3 miles away at the time, on their journey 
to^Col. Jameson's head-quarters, at North Castle. But Aunt Polly's curiosity got the better 
of her judgement." 

a K is a curious fact mentioned by Sparks in his Biography of Arnold, that the last canto of 
Andre's humorous satire, called the " Cow-chase," was printed on the very day of his cap- 
ture. It will be found in Rivington's Royal Gazette, for Sept. 23d, 1780. It ends with the fol- 
lowing stanza : 

" And now I've closed my epic strain, 
I tremble as I show it, 
Lest this same warrior-drover, Wayne, 
Should ever catch the poet." 

—[Sparks' Biog. Arnold, 228. 

6 See North Castle, S. Salem. 


silver mcdalon — one side of which shall be a shield with this inscription, " Fi- 
delity^ and on the other, the following motto, "Vi7icit amor jwtrice," and for- 
ward them to the Commander-in-Chief, who is requested to present the same, 
with a copy of this resolution, and the thanks of Congress for their fidelity and 
the eminent service they have rendered their country. 

The State also gave each a farm. 

The Westchester County Bank, at Peekskill, has commemorated this 
important event on its bills, by a beautiful vignette picture representing 
the arrest of the spy. He is in the act of supplicating his captors to let 
him escape, the discovered papers are in the hands of one of them, and 
the stern eyes of the others evince the determination to listen to no sug- 
gestions but those of patriotism. The form and features of Andre are ad- 
mirably depicted, and a miniature hangs in his bosom exquisitely finished. 
This was a likeness of Miss Honora Sneyd, to whom he was devotedly 
attached. a The picture had been painted by himself from the living 
features of the object of his affections. In 1775, he was taken prisoner 
by General Montgomery, at St. Johns, Canada; a few months after- 
wards, in a letter to a friend, he observes, " I have been taken prisoner 
by the Americans, and striped of every thing except the picture of Hon- 
ora, which I concealed in my mouth. Preserving that, I think myself 
fortunate."* To this touching incident Anna Seward refers in her poem 
upon Andre. 

' ' Shade of my love 
'Tis free ! These lips shall resolute enclqse 
The precious soother of my ceaseless woes." 

The above vignette suggested the following stanzas : 

" Before their country's foe they stand, 

Each with a stern and searching eye ; 
Grasped with a firm and honest hand, 

The hostile records open lie ; 
They read, and as each noble brow 

Wears the quiet shadow of resolve, 
The true and just exhibit now, 

The secret which they dared to solve. 

Away with gold ! It has no power 

To turn the true heart from its quest ; 
The ordeal of this solemn hour 

Gives firmness to the patriot's breast ; 
And as the tempter's art is tried, 

a This lady died of consumption only a few months before ,\ id at Tappan. She 

had married another gentleman four years after her engagement to Andre, which had been 
dissolved by parental affection.— [See Letters about the Hudson, published by Freeman & 
Hunt, 1837 

b See Sparks' Life of Arnold, p. 171. 


He finds each suplication vain ; 
The weary prisoner turns aside, 
To hide his laboring bosom's pain. 

Tumultuous thoughts upon his mind, 

In quick succession wildly crowd, 
As urged by the resistless wind, 

Spreads o'er the sky the tempest's cloud. 
Why bends his sad and languid glance 

Where, near his heart, that picture lies. 
Affection's fond inheritance, 

With sunny smile and loving eyes ! 

Alas ! Upon that face no more 

The eager gaze of hope can turn, 
The dream of early love is o'er, 

And ne'er again its fires will burn ; 
A shade is gathering o'er each tress, 

A gloom is lingering on the brow. 
And all its budding loveliness 

Is stained with tears of anguish now„ 

Brave, yet devoted ! On thy head 

The bolt, by others forged, shall fall; 
And history on thy name shall shed t 

Of fate, the wormwood and the gall ; 
Yet wert thou noble — and thy soul 

The battle and the storm withstood, 
Till bending to a stern control, 

'Twas by a traitor's lure subdued. 

Peace to thy shade, ill-fated one ! 

Though in the abbey's lengthened aisle, 
Scarce lit by the day's meridian sun, 

Thy marble bust may sadly smile, 
Yet is there darkness on thy name, 

Though gentle pity mourns for thee, 
While patriots bless the holy flame, 

Which kept thy captor's spirit free. 

■ — [ Westchester and Putnam Republican. 

A remarkable incident is said to have befallen the celebrated white- 
wood tree near which the spy was captured. It was struck by lightning 
on the same day that the intelligence of General Arnold's death arrived 
at Tarrytown. This tree was a fine specimen of the ancient forest, be- 
ing twenty-six feet in circumference, and its stem forty-one feet in length. 
At the present day not a vestige remains of "Major Andre's Tree," as 
it was familiarly called. It is thus beautifully described by the author 
of the Sketch Book ; "This tree towered like a giant above all the other 


trees of the neighborhood, and formed a kind of landmark. Its limbs 
were knarled and fantastic, large enough to form trunks for ordinary trees, 
twisting down almost to the earth, and rising again into the air. It was 
connected with the tragical story of the unfortunate Andre, who had 
been made a prisoner hard by, and was universally known by the name of 
'Major Andre's Tree.' The common people regarded it with a mixture 
of respect and superstition, partly out of sympathy for the fate of its ill- 
starred namesake, and partly from tales of strange sights, and doleful 
lamentations told concerning it." It was while passing beneath this 
whitewood tree that Ichabod Crane, in his midnight career toward 
Sleepy Hollow, "suddenly heard a groan, his teeth chattered, and his 
knees smote against the saddle. It was but the rubbing of one huge 
branch upon another, as they were swayed about by the breeze. He 
passed the tree in safety, but new perils lay before him. About two 
hundred yards from the tree, a small brook crossed the road, and 
ran into a marshy and thickly wooded glen, known by the name of 
"Wiley's Swamp." A few rough logs laid side by side, served for a 
bridge over this stream. On that side of the road where the brook en- 
tered the wood, a group of oaks and chestnuts, matted thick with wild 
grape vines, threw a cavernous gloom over it. To pass this bridge was 
the severest trial. It was at this identical spot that the unfortunate An- 
dre - was captured ; and under the covert of these chestnuts and vines 
were the sturdy yeomen concealed, who surprised him. This has ever 
since been considered a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of 
the schoolboy who has to pass it alone after dark." a 

"According to Debrett, Burke, and other genealogical authorities, 
John Andre was descended from a French refugee family settled in England 
at Southampton in the County of Hants," 6 " His mother whose name 
was Mary Louise Andre Girardot, though of French parentage, was 
born at London. His father, a native of Geneva, was born in Switzer- 
land; but it would seem that a very considerable. portion of his life must 
have been passed at London, where he carried on an extensive business in 
the Levant Trade, and where also, in 1780, several of his brothers had 
their abode. Of these Dr. Andree, of Halton Gardens, was apparently the 
only one who preserved what is said to have been an earlier method of 
spelling the family name. Notwithstanding the establishment of a part 
of the Andre family in England its connections upon the continent would 
appear to have been the most numerous and the most permanent." 

a See Sketch. Book, Beauties of Irving. Ac, Ac, 

b The Arms of Andre - or Andree, are Ar., two mullets, in chief az. and a galley, her oars 
In action, in b&Be sa. ( irest, a millrmd az. 
e Life of Major Andre by Wiuthrop Sargent. 


Among these was the Swedish Minister, Monsieur Andre, uncle to 
Major Andre ; another was the " celebrated Johann Andre, author of 
the opera of ' The Potter,' who was born at Offenbach in 1741, and who 
died in 1799."* 

Though as yet opportunity is wanting to verify the supposition, there 
is strong reason to believe that a near connection existed between the 
immediate family of Major Andre and the once celebrate St. Andre of 
Southampton — a character whose career is scarcely to be paralleled 
even in the pages of Gil. Bias. This person came over to England from 
his native Switzerland, at a very early age and, probably, towards the 
close of the seventeenth century. By his own account, his origin was 
perfectly respectable, and even distinguished ; and in his later days he 
would assert that by right he was possessed of a title." & Major John 
Andre was born either in London or Southampton, A. D. 1751. He 
was first placed in school at Hackney, under a Mr. Newcombe ; whence 
after a time he was withdrawn and sent for several years to Geneva to 
complete his education. He was master of many things that in those 
days very rarely constituted a part of a gentleman's education, and which, 
indeed, even in these are to be found rather in exceptions than the rule. 
The modern European languages — French, German, Italian, &c, are 
said to have been possessed by him in singular perfection ; while in 
musie, painting, drawing and dancing, he particularly excelled. When 
we consider that with these accomplishments was joined a nature always 
ambitious of distinction, a mind stored with the belles lettres of the day, 
and endowed not only with a taste for poetry, but with considerable 
readiness in its composition ; added to his person which, though slender, 
was remarkably active and graceful, we need not wonder that his at- 
tractions were such as to win the favor of all with whom he came in 
contact. At the university of Geneva he was remarked for a diligent 
student, and for an active and inquiring mind ; and in special was dis- 
tinguished by his proficiency in the schools of mathematics and of 
military drawings. To his skill in this last branch, his subsequent rapid 
advancement in the army was in great part attributable." In 1767 or 
1 768, when about sixteen or seventeen years of age, he entered the count- 
ing house of his father. Nor did the death of his father, which occurred 
at the house in Clapton (called the Manor house) in April, 1769, make 
at the time any material difference in the nature of his avocations. 

What family was left by the elder Andre can only be gathered from 
the fact that in 1780, besides his widow, there still remained a second 

a Ditto. 

b Life of Major Andre by Winthrop Sargent. 

c Life of Major Andre by Winthrop Sargent. 


son, William Lewis, who was eight years behind his brother ; and three 
daughters, Louisa Catherine, Mary Hannah and Anne. The last is 
said to have been distinguished for a poetical talent.* Of these sisters, 
Louisa Catherine was born 1754, and Mary Hannah about 1752, accord- 
ing to the inscriptions in the church yard at Bath- Hampton, where they 
are buried ; the last of these two dates going far to fix that of Major 
Andre's birth as of 175 1. 

In 1780, also, there were yet living at London, two brothers of the 
elder Andre : Mr. David Andre, of New Broad street, and Mr. John 
Lewis Andre, of Warnford Court, Throgmorton street, who were known 
to the community as respectable Turkey merchants, and who doubtless 
still carried on at the old place, the business in which their brother had 
prospered well, but which their nephews had declined. 6 

In 1769, while at the head of his mother's house at Buxton, Mat- 
lock, he first became acquainted with Miss Seward. It is almost cer- 
tain that he formed with another lady a friendship that left its coloring 
on the whole of his future life. d This was Miss Honora Sneyd, daughter 
of Edward, the younger son of Ralph Sneyd, Esq., of Bishton, in Staf- 
fordshire. This lady in 1773, married Richard Lovell Edgeworth. 
Upon finding that his attentions to Miss Sneyd were unavailing, Mr. An- 
dre quitted his profession and entered the British Army in America. 
His first commission was dated March 4th, 1771. 

The regiment which Andre joined was the Seventh Foot, or Royal 
English Fusiliers; one of the oldest corps in the line, and dating its 
formation in the year 1685. The rank of ensign does not exist in a 
fusilier regiment, the grade being supplied by a second lieutenant; it was 
in this latter capacity that he seems to have first served. In April, 1773, 
the regiment had been embarked for Canada, where it performed garri- 
son duty at Quebec for several months, until it was sent to Montreal 
and variously posted in Lower Canada. Before leaving England to 
join it, however, it is asserted that Andre paid a final visit of farewell to 
Miss Seward and to the scenes of his former happiness. During his 
stay, we are told, Miss Seward had made arrangements to take him to 
see and be introduced to her friends, Cunningham and Newton — both 
gentlemen of a poetical turn. e 

Whilst these two gentlemen were awaiting the arrival of their guests, 

a Ditto. 

b Life of Major Andre by Winthrop Sargent. 

c Ditto. Anna Seward, the eulogist of Major Andre", was born at Lyam, in Derbyshire in 
1747. The Bishops Palace at Lichfield, in which her father— who was a Canon of the Cathe- 
dral there — was the headquarters of the literary world of that region and of the better classes 
of society generally. 

d Life of Andre, by Sargent. 

c Life of Major Andre' by Winthrop Sargent. 


of whose intentions they had been apprised, Mr. Cunningham mentioned 
to Newton that, on the preceding night, he had a very extraordinary 
dream, which he could not get out of his head. He had fancied him- 
self in a forest; the place was strange to him; and, whilst looking about, 
he perceived a horseman approaching at great speed, who had scarcely 
reached the spot where the dreamer stood, when three men rushed out 
of the thicket, and, seizing the bridle, hurried him away, after closely 
searching his person. The countenance of the stranger being very in- 
teresting, the sympathy felt by the sleeper for his apparent misfortune 
awoke him; but he presently fell asleep again, and dreamt that he was 
standing near a great city, amongst thousands of people, and that he 
saw the same person he had seen seized in the wood, brought out and 
suspended to a gallows. When Andre and Miss Seward arrived, he was 
horror-struck to perceive that his new acquaintance was the antitype of 
man in the dream. a 

In the 3d November, 1775, he was taken prisoner with the garrison 
by the Americans under General Montgomery at St. John' s in Canada. 
Towards the close of the year 1776 most of the prisoners made by 
either side in Canada were exchanged and Andre thus obtained his 
freedom by their means, through whom he had lost it. The skeleton of 
the Seventh was transferred from that Province to New York; recruits 
and new clothing were sent out from England ; and in the end of Decem- 
ber, the regiment, including the men lately discharged from Pennsylvania, 
marched into town with tolerably full ranks. Andre did not, however, 
long remain in it ; on the 18th January, 1777, he received a captaincy 
in the Twenty-sixth, which had been so augmented that each company 
consisted of sixty-four men, exclusive of commissioned officers. But a 
staff appointment was his legitimate sphere, and there was for the time 
none such vacant. He therefore remained on line duty. His regiment 
was fortunately not one of those that Tryon led in April, 1777, to Dan- 
bury ; otherwise he might have met Benedict Arnold face to face and 
shared in the questionable glories of what Clinton honestly confesses to 
have been " a second Lexington." 6 In the beginning of the summer he 
was named aide-de-camp to Major-General Grey. In Grey's retirement 
Andre, with the provincial rank of Major, was appointed aide to Sir 
Henry Clinton, the son of Admiral George Clinton, once Governor of 
New York, who was second son of the ninth earl of Lincoln. Andre's 
conspicuous merit and aimable character had soon made him the most 
important person of Clinton's staff, and won the admiration of all who 

a Ainsworth's Magazine. 
b Clinton MS. 


had business with the General. He would promptly inform them whether 
or not he could engage in their affairs, if he declined, his reasons were 
always polite and satisfactory ; if he consented, the applicant was sure of 
an answer from Sir Henry within twenty-four hours. Clinton's con- 
fidence was evidenced in the spring of 1779 by his appointment of Andre, 
with Colonel West Hyde of the Guards, as commissioner to negotiate 
with the Americans an exchange of prisoners.* The following extract is 
from the Pennsylvania Packet, 1780-1781 : "Major Andre had ye 
address to insinuate himself so much unto ye favour of his commander- 
in-chief that he was said to have gained an absolute ascendency over 
this officer. The consequence was that he disposed of all his offices and 
favours and drove out from Sir Henry's family all his former favourites, &c. 
Letter from a Carolina Exile. When Major Stephen Kemble, the brother- 
indaw of General Gage resigned the adjutant -major- generalcy, it was forth- 
with bestowed upon Andre, and thenceforth all the business at headquarters 
of the Department passed through his hands. It was thus at the beginning 
of the Fall in 1779, that he commenced the virtual discharge of the Adju- 
tant-generalcy in which he continued till his death." It was in March 
or April, 1779, that General Arnold, commanding at Philadelphia, had, 
under the feigned name o*' Gustavus, begun a secret correspondence 
with Clinton; who committed the matter to the hands of Andre. The 
latter wrote over the signature of John Anderson; and was replied to as 
"Mr. John Anderson, merchant, to the care of James Osborn, to be left 
at the Rev. Mr. Odell's, Nw York." Though at the outset the Eng- 
lish had no clue to their correspondent's identity, the character and val- 
ue of his information soon led them to suspect it; and it is supposed by 
some, that this letter to Mr. Arnold was written with the • iew of mak- 
ing clear to her husband the character of its author, and tc i.wite a re- 
turn of confidence. This may possibly have been the case; but all my 
investigations show that the lady had not any suspicion of the dealings 
between the parties, or was ever intrusted by either side with the least 
knowledge of what was going on. Equally false, in my judgment, is 
the charge that she tempted her husband to treason. Her purity and 
elevation of character, have not less weight in the contradiction of this 
aspersion, than the testimony of all chiefly concerned in the discovery 
and punishment of the crime. "After the fall of Charleston in 1780, 
we are told that there was an opinion current in the American line that 
Andre had been present within its line during the siege, as a spy." It 
is but just to add, that, if this story of Andre's having been a spy at 
Charleston, received credence in respectable quarters, it was afterwards 

a Life of Major Andre by Winthrop Sargent. 


questioned by gentlemen of equal character in our service." "The se- 
cret correspondence with Arnold begun in 1779, had, at an early stage, 
been intrusted by Clinton to Andre's exclusive management. 

The information received was valuable and often highly important, 
nor was it long questionable from what quarter it came. In an elabo- 
rately disguised hand Arnold wrote over the signature of Gustavus, — a 
pseudonym perhaps suggested by the romantic story of Gustavus Vasa, 
in whose love of military glory,, undaunted boldness, and successful re- 
volt against the unwonted lords of his native land, he might persuade 
himself, his own character found a counterpart. On the other part, the 
fictitious name of Anderson was but a transparent play upon Andre's 
own. The accuracy and nature of the intelligence soon gave Clinton 
concern to know with certainty its author; and once satisfied in his 
mind that this was no other than Arnold, he took his cue from cir- 
cumstances, and delayed the final consummation until a period when the 
loss of a correspondent so valuable would be compensated by weightier 
gains than the individual defection of an officer of rank. Thus he con- 
tinued to receive the most momentous revelations of our affairs; and it 
may possibly have been that through these means a knowledge was ac- 
quired of the condition of Carolina, that led to the fall of Charleston.'' 
"On August 3d, 1780, Arnold was appointed to the command of West 
Point and its dependencies; and it was forthwith concerted that his 
treason should be fully developed with the greatest possible advantage to 
the British.* 

The moment was a truly favorable one, the English were weary of 
the continued strife, and really anxious for peace with America on al- 
most any terms that might not involve Independency. On the other 
hand, too, America was tired with the war. Various letters now passed 
between Andre - and Arnold and an interview concerted. On Sept. 1 9th, 
Colonel Williams of the 1 8th, then billeted at Kepp's House on the 
East River, gave a dinner to Clinton and his staff as a parting compli- 
ment to Andre. How brilliant soever the company, how cheerful the 
repast, its memory must have ever been fraught with sadness to both 
host and guests. It was the last occasion of Andre's meeting his com- 
rads in life. Four short days gone, the hands then clasped by friendship 
were fettered with hostile bonds; yet nine days more, and the darling of 
the army, the youthful hero of the hour, had dangled from a gibbet. 

It was recollected with peculiar interest that when at this banquet the 

a It is curious that so long before as 1T76, Col. Geclwitz, of our army, entered into negotia- 
tions with the enemy almost identical with those now conducted by Arnold. The delivery 
of the forts on the North River was the ultimate design of either traitor. Gedwitz was guilty j 
but he was acquitted because the court did not think his offence merited death. 


song came to his turn, Andre gave the favorite military chanson at- 
tributed to Wolfe, who sung it on the eve of the battle where he died : 

" Why, soldiers, why 
Should we he melancholy, boys ? 
Why, soldiers, why, 
Whose business 'tis to die ! 
For should next campaign 
Send us to Him who made us, boys, 
We're free from pain : 
But should we remain, 
A bottle and kind land-lady 
Makes all well again. "« 

The circumstances relative to Major Andre's arrest has already been 

"On Friday the 29th September, 1780, just one week since he had 
started from Smith's house for New York, Andre was brought before a 
Board of Enquiry convened by General Washington. It was assembled 
in an old Dutch church in Tappan, now pulled down, and consisted of 
the following officers : Major-Generals, Greene, Sterling, St. Claire, La 
Fayette, Howe and Steuben; Brigadiers, Parsons, Clinton, Knox, 
Glover, Patterson, Hand, Huntington and Starke. Greene was presi- 
dent, and John Lawrence the judge-advocate-general. Before this court 
Andre made the following statement : 


' ' On the 20th of December I left New York to get on board the Vulture, in 
order (as I thought) to meet General Arnold there in the night. No boat, how- 
ever, came off, and I waited on board until the night of the 21st. During the 
day, a flag of truce was sent from the Vulture to complain of the violation of a 
military rule in the instance of a boat having been decoyed on shore by a flag, 
and fired upon. The letter was addressed to General Arnold, signed by 
Captain Sutherland, but written in my hand, and countersigned ' J. Anderson, 
secretary.' Its intent was to indicate my presence on board the Vulture. In 

the night of the 21st, a boat with Mr. and two hands came on board, in 

order to fetch Mr. Anderson on shore; and, if too late to bring me back, to 
lodge me until the next night in a place of safety. I went into the boat, landed, 

and spoke with Arnold. I got on horseback with him to proceed to 

house; and, on the way, passed a guard I did not expect to see; havh/g Sir 
Henry Clinton's directions not to go within an enemy's post, or to quit my own 
dress. In the morning A. quitted me, having himself made me put the papers 
I bore between my stockings and feet. Whilst he did it, lie expressed a wish 
that, in case of any accident befalling me, they should be destroyed ; which, I 
said, of course would be the case, as when I went into the boat I should have 

a Life of Major Andre by Winthrop Sargent. 


thorn tied about me with a string and a stone. Before we parted, some mention 
liad been made of my crossing the river, and going by another route ; but, I ob- 
jected much against it, and thought it was settled that in the way I came I was 
to return. 

" Mr. , to my great mortification, persisted in his determination of carrying 

me by the other route ; and, at the decline of the sun, I set out on horse -back, 
passed King's Ferry and came to Crompond, where a party of militia stopped us 

and advised we should remain. In the morning I came with as far as 

within two miles and a half of Pine's Bridge, where he said he must part with 
me, as the Cow-boys infested the road thenceforth. I was now near thirty miles 
from Kingsbridge, and left to the chance of passing that space undiscovered. I 
got to the neighborhood of Tarrytown, which was far beyond the points de- 
scribed as dangerous, when I was taken by three volunteers, who, not satisfied 
with my pass, rifled me, and, finding papers, made me a prisoner. 

"I have omitted mentioning that, when I found myself within an enemy's post, 
I changed my dress." 

The proceedings, as published by Congress, being rather a manifesto 
than a report of a trial, make no mention of this statement. It gives, 
however, what is doubtless designed for an abstract of its contents and 
of his oral replies to interrogations. The italics are from the pamphlet : 

" That he came ashore from the Vulture sloop-of-war in the night of the 21st 
September inst. somewhere under the Haverstraw mountain. That the boat he 
came on shore in, carried no flag ; and that he had on a surtout coat over 
his regimentals, and that he wore his surtout coat when he was taken. That he 
met Gen. Arnold on the shore, and had an interview with hirn there. He also 
said that when he left the Vulture sloop-of-war, it was understood that he was 
to return that night ; but it was then doubted ; and, if he could not return, he 
was promised to be concealed on shore, in a place of safety, until the next night, 
when he was to return in the same manner he came on shore ; and when the 
next day came, he was solicitous to get back, and made enquiries during the 
course of the day, how he should return ; when he was informed he could not 
return that way, and must take the route he did afterwards. He also said that 
the first notice he had of his being within any of our out-posts was, being chal- 
lenged by the sentry, which was the first night he was on shore. He also said, 
that the evening of the 22d September inst., he passed King's Ferry, between our 
posts of Stony and Verplank's Points, in the dress he is at present in, and which, 
he said, is not his regimentals, and which dress he procured after he landed from 
the Vulture, and when he was within our posts, and that he was proceeding to 
New York, but was taken on his way at Tarrytown, as he has mentioned in his 
letter, on Saturday the 23d September inst. about nine o'clock in the morning." 

The six papers from Arnold being produced, he acknowledged they 
were found in his boots; the pass to John Anderson was also owned 
and the fact that he had assumed that name. Anderson's letter to Shel- 
don, of September 7th, {Anti. page 262) was also read. He avowed 
himself its author; but though it went to prove his intention not to en- 


ter our lines, he observed that it could not affect the present case, as he 
wrote it in New York under Clinton's orders: 

"The Board having interrogated Major Andre about his conception of his com- 
ing on shore under the sanction of a flag he said that it was impossible far him 
to suppose he came on shore under that sanction ; and added, that if he came on 
shore under that sanction, he certainly might have returned under it. 

"Major Andre having acknowledged the preceding facts, and being asked 
whether he had anything to say respecting them, answered, He left them to ope- 
rate with the Board." 

It was probably in connection with this point of a flag that Greene 
asked the question: — "When you came on shore from the Vulture, 
Major Andre, and met General Arnold, did you consider yourself act- 
ing as a private individual, or as a British officer ? " "I wore my uni- 
form," was the reply, and undoubtedly esteemed myself to be what in- 
deed I was, a British officer." It will be recollected that it was not as 
an officer he was acting and clad when he was arrested." 

His personal examination being now concluded the prisoner was re- 
manded into custody. 

"The Board having considered the letter from His Excellency General Wash- 
ington, respecting Major Andre, Adjutant-General to the British army, the con- 
fession, of Major Andre and the paper produced to them, Report to His Excel- 
lency the Commander-in-Chief, the following fact which appear to them concern- 
ing Major Andre. 

" First, That he came on shore from the Vulture, sloop-of-war, in the night of 
the 21st September inst. on an interview with General Arnold, in a private and 
secret manner. 

Secondly, That he changed his dress within our lines, and under a feigned name, 
and in a disguised habit, passed our works at Stony and Verplanck's Points the 
evening of the 22nd September inst. and was taken the morning of the 23rd Sep- 
tember inst. at Tarrytown in a disguised habit, being then on his way to New 
York, and, when taken, he had in his possession several papers, which con- 
tained intelligence for the enemy. 

"The Beard having maturely considered these facts, Do also Report to His 
Excellency General Washington, that Major Andre; Adjutant-General to the 
British army ought to be considered as a spy from the enemy ; and that, agree- 
able to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion, he ought to suffer death." 

" Intelligence of the finding of the court and of his fate were com- 
municated to Andre through two officers from Greene, one of whom was 
his aide, Major Burnet. The sentence was listened to with a composure 
that his informants vainly strove to emulate. The prisoner had steeled 
himself to encounter death : " I avow no guilt," he said, " but I am 
resigned to my fate." Yet he shrunk from the idea of the halter. " Since 

a I have this anecdote from Mr. Spark's, who received it from La Fayette himself. 


it was his lot to die," he said, " there was still a choice in the mode 
which would make a material difference to his feelings, and he would 
be happy, if possible, to be indulged with a professional death ; and he 
seems to have at once verbally petitioned, probably through Hamilton, 
that Washington would consent to his being shot probably anticipating 
no refusal to his request he retained for some time a tranquility of spirit 
approaching even to cheerfulness. 

On the morning of the day originally fixed for his death Andre made a 
moving appeal for a change of its mode. 


Tappan, 1st Octobee, 1780. 
Sir : — Buoy'd above the terror of death by the consciousness of a life devoted 
to honorable pursuits and stained with no action that can give me remorse, I 
trust that the request I make to your excellency at this serious period, and which 
is to soften my last moments, will not be rejected. 

Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your excellency and a military 
tribunal to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings of a man of honor. Let 
me hope, Sir, that if aught in my character impresses you with esteem toward 
me, if aught in my misfortunes marks me the victim of policy and not of resent- 
ment, I shall experience the operation of those feelings in your heart by being 
informed that I am not to die on the gibbet ; I have the honor to be your ex- 
cellency's most obedient and most humble servant, 

John Ahdre, Adj. -Gen. to the British Army. 

"This was probably the second and last letter written by Andre to 
Washington ; the latter being unable to grant the request was unwilling 
to wound the writer by a refusal, therefore did not reply. 

Letters of farewell to his mother and his nearest friends were written, 
and the condemned man's calmness was still evinced in the exercise of his 
pen. On this same evening he sketched from memory, as a memento for a 
friend in New York, the striking view of the North River that had pre- 
sented itself to him as he looked from the window of Smith's house, and 
figured the position of the Vulture as she rode at anchor beyond his 
reach. Tradition also assigns to this occasion the composition of some 
last verses, that were long cherished on the lips of the common people. 
The morning of Tuesday, October the 2d, 1780, found him with his 
mortal duties all performed and not afraid to die. 

The prisoner's board was supplied from Washington's own table; on 
this day his breakfast was sent him as usual, from the General's quarters. 
He ate with entire composure, and then proceeded to shave and dress 
with particular care. He v/as fully arrayed in the habits of his rank and 
profession, with the exception of sash and spurs, sword and yorget. The 
toilet completed, he laid his hat on the table and cheerfully said to the 


guard officers deputed to lead him forth, "I am ready at any moment, 
gentlemen, to wait on you." Though his face was of deadly paleness, 
its features were tranquil and calm; his beauty shone with an unnatural 
distinctness that awed the hearts of the vulgar, and his manners and air 
were as easy as though he was going to a ball-room rather than the 

The spot fixed for the closing scene was in an open field belonging to 
the owner of the house where he was detained, and on an eminence that 
commands an extended view. It was within a mile, and in open sight 
of Washington's quarters. Here the lofty gibbet was erected, and the 
shallow grave of three or four feet depth was digged. The office of hang- 
man, always an odious employment, was perhaps on this occasion more 
than usually so. None of our soldiers undertook it. One Strickland, a 
tory of Ramapo Valley, was in our hands at the time. His threatened 
fate may have been hard; his years were not many; and by the price of 
freedom he procured to take on himself the necessary but revolting char- 
acter. Under an elaborate disguise, he probably hoped to go through 
the scene if not unnoticed, at least unknown. 

Besides the officers that were always in the chamber, six sentinels 
kept watch by night and by day, over every aperture of the building; 
if hope of escape ever rose in Andre's breast it could not have developed 
into even the vaguest expectation. To the idea of suicide as a means of 
avoiding his doom, he never descended. The noon of this day was ap- 
pointed for the execution, and at half an hour before, the cortege set 
forth. Andre walked arm in arm between two subalterns; each, it is 
said, with a drawn sword in the opposite hand. A captain's command 
of thirty or forty men, marched immediately about these, while an outer 
guard of five hundred infantry, environed the whole and formed a hol- 
low square around the gibbet, within which no one save the officers on 
duty, and the Provost- Marshal's men, were suffered to enter. An im- 
mense multitude was, however, assembled on all sides to witness the spec- 
tacle ; and every house along the way was thronged with eager gazers, that 
only of Washington's excepted. Here the shutters were drawn and no 
man was visible but the two sentries who paced to an fro before the 
door. Neither the chief himself, nor his staff, were present with the 
troops; a circumstance which was declared by our people, and assent- 
ed to by Andre, as evincing a laudable decorum. But almost every 
field-officer in our army, led by Greene, headed the procession on horse- 
back, and a number followed the prisoner on foot; while the outer 
guard, stretching in single file on either side, in front and rear, prevented 
the concourse from crowding in. In addition to all those who came in 



on the country side, it is unlikely that many of the army who could con- 
trive to be present missed the sight. Every eye was fixed on the pris- 
oner; and every face wore such an aspect of melancholy and gloom, 
that the impression produced on some of our officers was not only affect- 
ing but awful. 

Keeping pace with the melancholy notes of the dead march the pro- 
cession marched along ; no member of it apparently less troubled than 
he whose conduct was its cause and whose death was its object.* In 
the beautiful Orientalism of Sir William Jones, " he dying only smiled, 
while all around him grieved." His heart told him that a life honorably 
spent in the pursuit of glory would not leave his name to be enrolled 
among those of the ignoble or guilty many : and his face bespoke the 
serenity of an approving and undismayed conscience. From time to 
time, as he caught the eye of an acquaintance — and especially to officers 
of the Court of Enquiry — he tendered the customary civilities of recog- 
nition, and received their acknowledgements with composure and grace. 
It seems that up to this moment he was persuaded that he was not to 
be hanged, but to be shot to death ; and the inner guard in attendance 
he took to be the firing party detailed for the occasion. Not until the 
troops turned suddenly, at a right angle with the course they had hither- 
to followed, and the gallows rose high before him, was he undeceived. 
In the very moment of wheeling with his escort, his eye rested on the 
ill-omened tree, and he recoiled and paused. " Why this emotion, sir ? " 
asked Smith, who held one of his aims. " I am reconciled to my fate," 
said Andre, clenching his fist and convulsively moving his arms ; " but 
not to the mode of it." " It is unavoidable, sir," was the reply. He 
beckoned Tallmadge, and inquired anxiously if he was not to be shot : 
" Must I then die in this manner ? " Being told that it was so ordered, 
" How hard is my fate ! " he cried ; " but it will soon be over." 

Ascending the hill side, the prisoner was brought to the gibbet, while 
the outer guard secured the ceremony from interruption. During the 
brief preparations, his manner was nervous and restless — uneasily rolling 
a pebble to and fro beneath the ball of his foot, and the gland of his 
throat sinking and swelling as though he choked with emotion. His 
servant who had followed him to this point now burst forth with loud 
weeping and lamentations, and Andre for a little turned aside and 
privately conversed with him. He shook hands with Tallmadge, who 
withdrew. A baggage wagon was driven beneath the cross-tree into which 

a Benjamin Abbott, a drum-major, who beat the dead march on this occasion, died at 
Nashua, N. H., in 1851, aged 92. Peter Besancon who followed La Fayette hither from 
France, and who died at Warsaw, New York, in 1S55. was probably the last surviving spec- 


he leaped lightly, but with visible loathing ; and throwing his hat aside, 
removed his stock, opened his shirt-collar, and snatching the rope from 
the clumsy hangman, himself adjusted it about his neck. He could not 
conceal his disgust at these features of his fate ; but it was expressed in 
manner rather than in language. Then he bound his handkerchief over 
his eyes. 

The order of execution was loudly and impressively read by our Ad- 
jutant-General Scammel, who at its conclusion, informed Andre he 
might now speak, if he had anything to say. Lifting the bandage for a 
moment from his eyes, he bowed courteously to Greene and the attend- 
ing officers, and said with firmness and dignity: — 

"All I request of you, gentlemen, is that you will bear witness to the 
world that I die like a brave man." His last words murmured in an un- 
dertone were, — " It will be but a momentary pang." 

Every thing seemed now ready, when the commanding officer on duty 
suddenly cried out, — "His arms must be tied!" 

The hangman, with a piece of cord, laid hold of him to perform this 
order; but recoiling from his touch, Andre vehemently struck away the 
man's hand, and drew another handkerchief from his pocket with which 
his elbows were loosely pinioned behind his back. The signal was given ; 
the wagon rolled swiftly away, and almost in the same instant he ceased 
to live. The height of the gibbet, the length of the cord, and the sud- 
den shock as he was jerked from the coffin-lid on which he stood, pro- 
duced immediate death. 

From an eye witness, we have the following account of Andre's execu- 

" During the whole transaction, he appeared as little daunted as Mr. 
John Rogers is said to have done when he was about to be burnt at the 
stake; but his countenance was rather pale. He remained hanging, I 
should think, from twenty to thirty minutes; and during that time, the 
chambers of death were never stiller than the multitude by which he was 
surrounded. Orders were given to cut the rope and take him down, 
without letting him fall. This was done, and his body carefully laid on 
the ground. Shortly after, the guard was withdrawn, and spectators 
were permitted to come forward and view the corpse; but the crowd 
was so great that it was some time before I could get an opportunity. 
When I was able to do this, his coat, vest and breeches, were taken off, 
and his body was laid in the coffin, covered by some under-clothes. 
The top of the coffin was not put on. I viewed the corpse more care- 
fully than I had ever done any human being before. His head was 
very much on one side, in consequence of the manner in which the hal- 
ter drew upon his neck. His face appeared to be greatly swolen, and 
very black, much resembling a high degree of mortification. It was, in- 


■deed, a shocking sight to behold. There were at this time standing at 
the foot of the coffin, two young men, of uncommon short stature ; I 
should think not more than four feet high. Their dress was the most 
gaudy that I ever beheld. One of them had the clothes, just taken 
from Andre, hanging on his arm. I took particular pains to learn who 
they were, and was informed that they were his servants sent up from 
New York to take his clothes; but what other business I did not learn. 
I now turned to take a view of the executioner, who was still stand- 
ing by one of the posts of the gallows. I walked nigh enough to him to 
have laid my hand upon his shoulder, and looked him directly in the 
face. He appeared to be about twenty-five years of age, his beard of 
two or three weeks growth, and his whole face covered with what appeared 
to me to be blacking taken from the outside of a greasy pot. A more 
frightful looking being I never beheld ; his whole countenance bespoke 
him to be a fit instrument for the business he had been doing. Wishing 
to see the closing of the whole business, I remained upon the spot until 
scarce twenty persons were left; but the coffin was still beside the grave, 
which had previously been dug. I now returned to my tent, with my 
mind deeply imbued with the shocking scene I had been called to wit- 

Every authentic account that we have, shows how much our officers 
regretted the necessity of Andre's death, and how amply they fulfilled 
his parting adjuration. " The tears of thousands," says Thacher, "fell on 
the spot where he lay, and no one refrained from proclaiming his sympathy. 
Many wept openly as he died ; among whom, it is recorded, (apparently 
on the testimony of Laune) was La Fayette. Certainly the marquis 
bore witness to the infinite regret with which the fate of such a noble 
and magnanimous character inspired him. It was believed in the army 
that Washington's soul revolted at the task, and that he could scarcely 
command the pen when he subscribed the fatal warrant. An American 
officer who was present, and who brought the news to Burgoyne's troops 
detained at Winchester, asserted that our General shed tears on the 
execution, and would fain have changed its mode. 

The sorrow and indignation of Andre's friends gave occasion to many 
unfounded charges. At Southampton, where his family connections ex- 
tended, it was reported that Clinton solicited " as a singular favor," after 
his dear friend and companion should be hung, the body might be sent 
to him. But Washington refused. Clinton then sent again, that since? 
the sentence was to bury the body under the gallows, it might be taken 
up and brought to New York, there to be interred with the military 
honors due to so brave and accomplished a young man. This, Washing- 
ton also refused. 

This silly tale is sufficiently exposed by Sir Henry's own statement 
that he knew not of his Adjutant's being hanged till the arrival of Laune 


with his master's baggage, told him all was over. When the burial at 
the gibbet's foot was about to be made, the man had demanded Andre's 
uniform, which was accordingly removed and given him. The corpse 
was then laid in the earth, and no monument but the usual cairn such as 
rose over the spot where Gustavus fell at Lutzen "for liberty of con- 
science," marked the solitary grave. The surrounding field was cultiva- 
ted, but the plough still shunned the place; for it was customary in this 
region for the laborers in the tillage to spare the soil that covered a sol- 
dier; and as early as 1778, the fields of Long Island were noticed to be 
checkered over with patches of wild growth that showed where men lay 
who were slain in the battle there. 

With generous sensibility, Colonel William S. Smith of our army, em- 
braced the opportunity, of purchasing the watch that the captors had 
taken. It was sold for their benefit, at thirty guineas. He bought it ; 
and mindful of the tender affection with which Andre had been heard to 
speak of his mother and sisters in England, sent it in to Robertson to 
be transmitted to these ladies. The unfortunate man's will testifies with 
what regard his whole domestic circle was held. It was sworn to before 
Carey Ludlow, Surrogate of New York, and admitted to probate Octo- 
ber 12th, 1780. 


"The following is my last will and testament, and I appoint as executors there- 
to Mary Louisa Andre, my mother ; David Andre, my uncle ; Andrew Girardot, 
my uncle ; John Lewis Andre, my uncle ; to each of the above executors I 
give fifty pounds. I give to Mary Hannah Andre, my sister, seven hundred 
pounds. I give to Louisa Catherine Andre, my sister, seven hundred pounds, 
I give to William Lewis Andre, my brother, seven hundred pounds. But the 
condition on which I give the above mentioned sums, to my afore said brother 
and sisters, are that each of them shall pay to Mary Louisa Andre, my mother, 
the sum of ten pounds yearly, during her life. I give to Walter Ewer, Jr., of 
Dyer's Court, Aldermanbury, one hundred pounds. I give to John Ewer, Jr., of 
Lincoln's Inn, one hundred pounds. I desire a ring, value fifty pounds, to be 
given to my friend, Peter Boissier, of the 11th Dragoons. I desire that Walter 
Ewer, Jr., of Dyers Court, Aldermanbury, have the inspection of my papers, let- 
ters and manuscripts ; I mean that he have the first inspection of them, with liberty 
to destroy or detain whatever he thinks proper, and I desire my watch to be giv- 
en him. And I lastly give and bequeath to my brother John Lewis Andre, the 
residue of all my effects whatsoever. Witness my hand and seal, Staten Island,, 
in the Province of New York, North America, 7th June, 1777. 

Captain in TnE 26tii Regiment of Foot. 

N. B. — The currency alluded to in my will is sterling money of Great Britairu 
I desire nothing more than my wearing apparel to be sold at auction." 


" It may well be supposed that the news of the execution was received 
at New York in sorrow and anger. Joshua Smith says: — "No lan- 
guage can describe the mingled sensations of sorrow, grief, sympathy 
and revenge, that agitated the whole garrison; a silent gloom overspread 
the general countenance; the whole army, and citizens of the first dis- 
tinction, went into mourning." Miss Seward also mentions the signs of 
grief the troops displayed in their apparel; and in November a London 
account censures Clinton for not employing the heated animosity of his 
men to strike an avenging blow. "The troops at New York on hear- 
ing of his execution raised such an outcry for vengence, and to be led to 
the attack of Washington's camp, that the Commander-in-Chief could 
hardly keep them within the bounds of discipline ; and many letters men- 
tion, that as Sir Henry had an army at least equal to Washington's, he 
ought to have indulged them — for the determined spirit with which they 
were actuated, would have made them invincible against any superior- 
ity. On this account the military critics say, "he has given another con- 
vincing proof that he is a General who does not know when to act. Af- 
ter this, few rebel prisoners will be taken. The universal cry of the sol- 
diers at New York is, ' Remember Andre ! ' " 

But if Clinton would not expose his men to the doubtful enterprise, 
he was not unmindful either of the fame or the last wishes of his friend. 
By public orders, his memory was released from any imputation that 
might arise from the manner of his death : 

Head-Quarters New York, ) 
8th Oct. 1780. } 

" The Commander-in-Chief does, with infinite regret, inform the army of the 
death of the Aujutant-General, Major Andre. 

" The unfortunate fate of this officer calls upon the Commander-in-Chief to 
declare his opinion that he ever considered Major Andre as a gentleman — as well 
as in the line of his military profession, of the highest integrity and honor, and 
incapable of any base action or unworthy conduct. 

Major Andre's death is very severely felt by the Commander-in-Chief, as it as- 
suredly will be by the army; and must prove a real loss to his country, and to 
his Majesty's service." 

How far the army felt their loss may be gathered from Simcoe's orders 
to his own regiment (the Queen's Rangers) by the officers and men of 
which Andre was personally known. He commanded them to wear, for 
the future, black and white feathers as mourning for a soldier "whose 
superior integrity and uncommon ability did honor to his country and 
human nature, &c." a 

a Simcoe's Mil., Jour. 152. 


It is to the pervading interest that attached itself to Andre's story, and 
the romantic character of his career, that the origin of the ghost-stories 
about him may be attributed. There is yet another connected with him : 

" Miss H. B., was on a visit to Miss Andre, and being very intimate 
with the latter, shared her bed. One night she was awakened by the 
violent sobs of her companion, and upon entreating to know the cause, 
she said : ' I have seen my dear brother, and he has been taken prisoner.' 
It is scarcely necessary to inform the reader that Major Andre was then 
with the British army during the heat of the American war. Miss B., 
soothed her friend, and both fell asleep, when Miss Andre once more 
started up, exclaiming, ' They are trying him as a spy;' and she described 
the nature of the court, the proceedings of the judge and prisoner, with 
the greatest minuteness. Once more the poor sister's terrors were 
calmed by her friend's tender representations, but a third time she awoke 
screaming that they were hanging him as a spy on a tree and his regi- 
mentals, with many other circumstances ! There was no more sleep for 
the friend ; they got up, and entered each in her own pocket-book the 
particulars stated by the terror-stricken sister, with the dates ; both 
agreed to keep the soruce of their own presentiment and fear from the 
poor mother, fondly hoping they were built on the fabric of a vision. 
But, alas ! as soon as news, in those days, could cross the Atlantic, the 
fatal tidings came ; and to the deep awe, as well as sad grief of the young 
ladies, every circumstance was exactly imparted to them as had been 
shadowed forth in the fond sister's sleeping fancy, and had happened on 
the very day preceding the night of her dream. The writer thinks this 
anecdote has not been related by Miss Seward, Dr. Darwin, or the Edge- 
worths, father and daughter, who have all given to the public many intre- 
esting events in the brilliant but brief career of Majoy Andre." 

It is creditable to the British Government that in consideration of the 
magnitude of Andre's attempted service, and the disastrous fate with 
which his efforts were crowned, nothing was wanting to testify either its 
care for his fame or its respect for his wishes. On the 13th November, 
Captain St. George, Clinton's aide, delivered that General's despatches 
of the 12th October, to Lord George Germain: 

"The unexpected and melancholy turn which my negotiations with General 
Arnold took with respect to my Adjutant-General, has filled my mind with the 
deepest concern. He was an active, intelligent and useful officer, and a young 
gentleman of the most promising hopes. Therefore, as he has unfortunately fal- 
len a sacrifice to his great zeal for the King's service, I judged it right to consent 
to his wish, intimated to me in his letter of the 29th Sept., of which I have the 
honor to enclose your lordship a copy, that his company which he purchased 
should be sold for the benefit of his mother and sisters. But I trust, my lord, that 
your lordship will think Major Andre's misfortune still calls for some further 
support to his family ; and I beg leave to make it my humble request that you 
will have the goodness to recommend them in the strongest manner to the King, 
for so me beneficial and distinguishing mark of His Majesty's favor. "« 
a MSS. Sir II. Clinton to Lord G. Germain, (Separate,) New York, 12th Oct. 1T80, S. P. O. 


What was asked, was granted. The King is said to have instantly- 
ordered a thousand guineas from the privy purse, to be sent to Mrs. An- 
dre, and an annual pension of ^300 to be settled on her for life, with 
reversion to her children or the survivor of them ; and after knighthood 
was proffered on the 24th of March, 1781, in memory of his brother's 
services, the dignity of a baronetcy of Great Britain, was conferred upon 
Capt. William Lewis Andre, of the 26th Foot, and his heirs, male, forever.* 
A stately cenotaph in Westminster Abbey also preserved the remem- 
brance of the life and death of Major Andre. To this Arnold was once 
observed to lead his wife, and to peruse with her the inscriptions that re- 
ferred to the most important scenes in his own careeer. 6 

Forty years later, the pomp and. ceremony with which the remains of 
the brave Montgomery were publicly brought from Canada to New York 
called the attention of the British Consul at that city to the fact, that 
the dust of another who too had borne the King's commission, and 
whose first captivity had graced Montgomery's first triumph, still filled 
an unhonored grave in a foreign land. He communicated with the Duke 
of York, Commander of the Force, and it was decided to remove Andre's 
corpse to England. The Rev. Mr. Demarat, who owned the ground, 
gave ready assent to the Consul's proposals. " His intention had be- 
come known," says an American writer, and " some human brute — -some 
Christian dog — had sought to purchase or rent the field of Mr. Demarat, 
for the purpose of extorting money for permission to remove these relics. 
But the good man and true, rejected the base proposal, and offered every 
facility in his power." On Friday, August 10, 1821, at eleven a. m., 
the work was commenced — not without fear that it would be in vain ; for 
vague whispers went around that years before, the grave was despoiled. 
At the depth of three feet, the spade struck the coffin-lid, and the perfect 
skeleton was soon exposed to view. Nothing tangible remained but the 
bones and a few locks of the once beautiful hair, together with the leather 
cord that had bound the queue, and which was sent by Mr. Buchanan, 
to the sisters of the deceased. An attentive crowd of both sexes, some 
of whom had probably beheld the execution, was present. 

" The farmers who came to witness the interesting ceremony, gener- 
ally evinced the most respectful tenderness for the memory of the unfor- 
tunate dead, and many of the children wept. A few idlers, educated 
by militia training and Fourth of July declamation, began to murmur 

a A tombstone in Bathhampton church-yard, near Bath, has this inscription : "Sacred to the 
memory of Louisa Catharine Andre, late of the Circus, Bath : Obit. Dec. 25, 1835, aged 81. 
Also, of Mary Hannah Andre, her sister, who died March 3, 1845, aged 93 years." Sir Wil- 
liam Lewis Andre, the brother, married, and surviving his son of the same name, who was a 
director of the London Assurance Company, died at Dean's Leaze, Hants, 11th Nov., lS02,when. 
the title became extinct. 

b Life of Andre, by Winthrop Sargent. 


that the memory of General Washington was insulted by any respect 
shown to the remains of Andre ; but the offer of a treat lured them to 
the tavern, where they soon became too drunk to guard the character of 
Washington. It was a beautiful day, and these disturbing spirits being 
removed, the impressive ceremony proceeded in solemn silence."* 

If this anecdote is true, these ruffling swaggerers were all who did not 
cheerfully encourage the proceedings. Ladies sent garlands to decorate 
the bier; even the old woman who kept the turnpike-gate, threw it open 
free to all that went and came on this errand; and six young women of 
New York, united in a poetical address that accompanied the myrtle 
tree they sent with the body to England. 

The bones were carefully uplifted, and placed in a costly sarcophagus 
of mahogany, richly decorated with gold, and hung with black and crim- 
son velvet; and so borne to New York, to be placed on board the 
Phaeton frigate which — by a happy significancy, so far as her name was 
concerned — had been selected for their transportation to England. Two 
cedars that grew hard by, and a peach tree — bestowed by some kind 
woman's hand, to mark the grave, (the roots of which had pierced the 
coffin and twined themselves in a fibrous network about the dead man's 
skull,) were also taken up. The latter was replanted in the King's gar- 
dens, behind Carlton House. 

In gratitude for what